Vigilante bike hero tells children to act courageously in the face of wrong-doing

Russ Morgan

Russ Morgan - Credit: Archant

A cyclist who took back his bike from a thief has used the experience to talk to Canadian children about how to confront bullies, after their teacher spotted his story in the Gazette.

Russ Morgan, 33, spoke to 59 children in Ontario about how his £1,200 bike was stolen from outside Tesco in Hackney Central on October 22.

As he walked home, he saw the thief sitting on the bike, with a group of six people.

Russ says he told them: “Hey guys that is a pretty awesome bike,” and approached tentatively, getting his hands on the handlebars.

He then shouted: “Do you know why it’s an awesome bike? Because it’s my bike,” and eventually the thief ran away when he continued to shout.

A teacher from St Paul’s School in New Market, Ontario, contacted Mr Morgan after seeing the story shared on social media, and asking him to tell his story because it showed how to “act courageously in the face of wrong-doing”.

After he finished telling the children his story via a video projection on the online chat forum Google Hangouts, Mr Morgan received a couple rounds of applause.

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He said the story showed the importance of standing up for what you think is right, and telling people if you are being bullied- whether it be friends, parents or a teacher – because “bullies don’t like attention”.

But he also warned children against putting themselves in a dangerous position when fighting bullying.

Mr Morgan told the children that he too had been bullied at school, and “when you get older you realise that people don’t like bullies. I’ve lived in five countries and they have one thing in common: No one likes a bully.”

Teacher, Ms Marchesan, wanted to remind children that “bullying-type activities continue into adulthood” and said that the students found it reassuring to see a successful adult explaining that this had also happened to him.

She said that Mr Morgan’s openness, honesty and sincerity meant the children were able to open up to him.

They also discussed the feelings that Mr Morgan might have been feeling in this situation, such as betrayal, anger and violation.

“Lots of children admitted to [Mr Morgan] that they had been bullied and I hadn’t been aware of that,” Ms Marchesan said.

One student even asked Mr Morgan how to deal with depression brought on by bullying.

He responded by explaining that he lived his life by surrounding himself with positive people and used that as fuel to achieve his dreams.