Culture

Trolley Man Identified, Internet Rallies To Get Him A New Phone

Trolley Man Bourke Street Attack

The man who tried to stop Friday’s Bourke Street attack with a trolley has been identified as Michael Rogers, a 46-year-old homeless man who needs a new phone.

Rogers, affectionately dubbed “Trolley Man“, rose to prominence this week after attempting to subdue knife-wielding attacker Hassan Khalif Shire Ali with a shopping trolley. In widely-circulated footage of the incident, Rogers can be seen righting an empty trolley that had been tipped on its side. He then drives it before him as he charges into the fray alongside police, ramming Ali and falling to the ground.

Other bystanders can also be seen trying to stop Ali with improvised weapons, one armed with a chair. Ali was ultimately shot in the chest by police, and later died in hospital.

Though Trolley Man’s actions undoubtedly put him in danger, his good intent and lack of hesitation in diving in trolley-first endeared him to many Australians. The internet quickly rallied around this mysterious cart-wielding protector in admiration of his bravery and massive balls.

7 News has since identified Trolley Man as Michael Rogers, a 47-year-old homeless man. “I’ve seen the trolley to the side, so I picked it up and I ran and threw the trolley straight at him – got him but didn’t get him down,” Rogers told 7 News reporter Robert Ovadia. “And I did that motion quite a number of times, but it just wasn’t getting him down.”

Ovadia reported that after the interview a police officer shook Rogers’ hand and thanked him, effectively confirming that Rogers was the man behind the trolley.

7 News speaks exclusively to "trolley man"

EXCLUSIVE: 7 News has spoken exclusively to “trolley man” – a bystander being hailed a hero following the Bourke Street terror attack yesterday. Robert Ovadia caught up with the brave man who helped police during yesterday's terrorism attack, using a trolley to fend off the attacker.www.7plus.com.au/News #7News

Posted by 7 News Melbourne on Friday, 9 November 2018

 

In response to the incident, Melbourne Homeless Collective, a charity that assists homeless people in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, has set up a GoFundMe for Rogers. On top of assisting him with his housing situation, the funds are also intended to help Rogers replace his phone, which was reportedly destroyed during the altercation.

“[A]ll funds donated to this campaign will go directly to Mr Rogers to help get him back on his feet,” says the crowdfunding page. “He’s a hero in our eyes and he can do what he feels best with any funds he receives.  He risked his own life that day for nothing in return and you can’t put a price on that.”

As of writing, the GoFundMe had blown past its $15,000 goal, raising over $20,000 in less than a day. Hopefully, Trolley Man will be able to get himself much more than just a snazzy new phone.