November 17, 2018 / 3:01 AM / a month ago

Homeless man who helped thwart Australia attack charged with burglary, theft

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - A homeless man who used his shopping trolley to help thwart an attack by a knife-wielding Islamic State sympathiser in Australia this month has been charged with five offences, including burglary and theft.

Michael Rogers repeatedly tried to ram the attacker, Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, who was lunging at police and had stabbed three people, one fatally, in an attack in the city of Melbourne that police branded terrorism.

Police shot Shire Ali who later died.

On Saturday, police said Rogers, 46, nicknamed “Trolley Man” on social media, had been charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of theft and committing an indictable offence while on bail.

“He has been remanded in custody to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court (on Saturday),” police said in an emailed statement.

Rogers was called for questioning late on Friday.

Police did not provide more details but media reported that all the suspected incidents had happened before the Nov. 9 attack.

Rogers’ action during the attack was filmed by witnesses and he quickly became a hero on social media, prompting an online fundraiser for him which has raised more than A$140,000 ($102,690.00).

Reporting by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Robert Birsel

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