The hashtag ‘milkcrate’ is trending on social media as Australians praise the heroic bystanders who used a milk crate, a crowbar and a chair to restrain a knife-wielding man in Sydney on Tuesday.
Alleged killer Mert Ney, 21, is expected to be charged with murder and serious assault after a 24-year-old woman was found dead at a Clarence Street apartment with her throat slit, and a 41-year-old woman was stabbed in her back.
In a dramatic citizens’ arrest, three bystanders chased down the alleged killer pinning him down while police arrived at the scene in Sydney’s CBD.
The trio’s heroic actions sent the internet into a frenzy of memes and satirical news stories, with high-profile Australians such as Russell Crowe using the incident to mock US President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan.
In a further dig at US gun-lovers, Australian satirical news outlet The Shovel published a story about the National Milk Crate Association calling to loosen open carry laws so Australians can arm themselves with milk crates in public places as a means of self-defence.
Memes comparing crates and guns as weapons quickly went viral.
— Colt Luger's Hand of Justice (@andrewstarr1000) August 13, 2019
Some users said the bystanders’ actions made them feel proud to be Australian.
Times like this make me proud to be Aussie. Where threats are dealt with effectively using milk crates, chairs and shopping trolleys. True bravery. #milkcrate #MakeAustraliaCrateAgain 🇦🇺 https://t.co/mgJY9Izh51
— Cruz Hogan (@Cruz_Hogan) August 14, 2019
Could the #milkcrate become the new symbol of Sydney?
— Old Croaky (@OldCroaky) August 13, 2019
Others likened the #milkcrate story to a similar citizen’s arrest last year in Melbourne when a homeless man shot to popularity after he used a trolley to subdue a knife-wielding terrorist during a random stabbing attack on Bourke Street.
‘Trolley Man’ became a cult figure among Victorians and was recognised for his bravery by the chief commissioner of Victoria Police.
But while the #milkcrate hashtag has prompted hundreds of jokes online, not everyone was impressed.
Many pointed out that Tuesday’s stabbing incident which left a young woman dead and another in hospital was no laughing matter.
With all the #milkcrate euphoria, let's not forget that a woman was murdered, another was in hospital last night and a third was stabbed. Targetted violence towards women. May the nameless woman who was ID'd by her occupation RIP & may good men always be around to stop bad men.
— Once Diabetes (@MelindaSeedT1D) August 14, 2019