The Melbourne “trolley man” who tackled the Bourke Street terrorist with a shopping trolley, has been charged with five offences, including burglaries and bail offences.
Homeless man Michael Rogers, who has been sleeping rough for 18 years, handed himself into police after it was revealed he was a wanted man.
Mr Rogers appeared in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Saturday and was charged with two counts of burglary, two of theft and committing an indictable offence while on bail.
A lawyer appearing on Mr Rogers behalf told the court the 46-year-old man was homeless and had ongoing drug issues.
He is expected to apply for bail later in the day and is being assessed for a court support program, including treatment and community support services.
Mr Rogers was dubbed the Bourke Street ‘trolley man” after he was caught on camera trying to fight off terrorist Hassan Khalif Shire Ali with a shopping trolley during last Friday’s rampage.
Shire Ali stabbed two men and fatally wounded Melbourne institution Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar co-owner Sisto Malaspina before he was shot in the chest by police and later died in hospital.
Mr Roger’s action prompted an online crowd funding campaign that raised more than $140,000, but on Thursday it was revealed police wanted to question him over alleged burglaries in the Melbourne CBD and St Kilda areas and breaching bail conditions.
He later went to the Melbourne West Police Station about 10pm on Friday night, the ABC reported.
On Friday, Donna Stolzenberg, who set up the Go Fund Me fundraiser ‘Thank You Trolleyman’ for Mr Rogers, told the ABC she was with him on Thursday after he learned via the media that police were keen to speak with him.
“We have to remember these were things that happened prior to Friday as well,” she said.
“He actually doesn’t really know what they are, so when I asked him about what they might be he said ‘I don’t know’ … but he’s quite keen to speak to police to actually figure out what’s going on and get it sorted.”
On Monday, Mr Rogers told ABC TV’s 7.30 program he felt other people were more deserving of “hero” status than him.
“I’m not saying what I did wasn’t good, but you know you’ve got the police, you’ve got the Army, you’ve got the ambulance – you’ve got better heroes than me,” he said.
“I’m grateful, but I’m not in the same league as others.”
The ‘Thankyou Trolleyman’ page says it will remain open until Sunday.
The campaign promises all funds raised will go to Mr Rogers and will be held in a trust account so “Michael is well taken care of and guided financially as he moved forward.