Published March 17, 2011
The mother of an Australian bully who's become an Internet sensation for being body-slammed on video by one of his victims says she wants an apology.
Footage of the fight shows seventh-grader Ritchard Gale tormenting, shoving and punching 10th-grader Casey Heynes at Chifley College in St. Marys North before the much-larger Heynes body slams Gale and walks away.
But Gale's mother, Tina, says she and her family are the victims, now that the video has gone viral, and she says Heynes owes her family an apology.
"We don't need this posted everywhere," she told Australia's Seven Network on Wednesday. "I would like him to apologize."
Tina said she while was "shocked" at Ritchard's behavior, she didn't think he deserved to be slammed to the ground. Neither boy suffered serious injuries in the fight.
The video, which became an Internet sensation shortly after being posted, caused a surge of approval for Heynes, with many calling him a "hero" and nicknaming him "the Punisher" while dubbing Ritchard "The Rat." A Facebook page for "Casey Heynes – Public Figure" also has generated nearly 98,000 "likes."
The school however did not pick sides in the fight and instead suspended both boys for four days.
Trial attorney Lee Armstrong said that was a mistake and unfair to Heynes.
"We understand that in the past he gets bullied every day… If this was like a Wii video game and we could control his limbs, that's exactly what one of us would have done," Armstrong told Fox News. "The fact that this smaller kid can't appreciate the difference in size between himself and a larger kid is his problem. This kid should not have been suspended."
But defense attorney and former prosecutor Mark Eiglarsh said not suspending Heynes would have set a dangerous precedent.
"This isn't just an isolated incident. This now becomes law in the school. Every other kid now is free if they're bullied not to do as they're told to turn the other cheek and go to their teachers but to lift up another kid, the bully, and slamming them to ground, risking paralysis or death," Eiglarsh told Fox News.
The school said it will decide whether to subject the boys to further punishment after it completes an investigation.