‘Trolley man’ hailed as hero in Melbourne attack appears in court

Posted at 8:13 AM, Nov 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-17 10:13:18-05

A homeless man who was hailed as a hero after intervening in a terror attack in the Australian city of Melbourne just over a week ago has appeared in court charged with theft, Australia’s ABC News reported.

Michael Rogers was captured in shaky cellphone images from the scene repeatedly shoving a shopping cart, known as a shopping trolley in Australia, at attacker Hassan Khalif Shire Ali who had just stabbed three people and was threatening police officers with a knife.

After Rogers, nicknamed “trolley man,” was identified as the brave bystander concerned, a GoFundMe page was set up in his honor.

Police subsequently said they wanted to question Rogers, 46, over alleged offenses that predated the Melbourne attack, ABC reported. He handed himself in to police on Friday.

He has since appeared in court accused of stealing a bike from an apartment block in Melbourne in October and breaking into a downtown cafe earlier this month and taking $367 (AUD 500), ABC reported. He has been released on bail.

The court heard Rogers had faced homelessness and drug issues, and was released from a five-month spell in prison in August, ABC said.

The GoFundMe page set up on Rogers’ behalf by the charity National Homeless Collective was closed to new donations on Saturday after reaching its target.

The $106,000 (AUD 145,000) raised will be held in a trust account for Rogers, the charity said, to ensure he is “well taken care of and guided financially as he moves forward.”

The charity said people’s generosity would be life-changing for Rogers. “We’ll be continuing to support Michael through National Homeless Collective for as long as he needs us,” it said.