Acts of kindness: 50 ‘big-hearted’ motorcyclists escort bullied sixth-grader to first day of school

Call it the kindness of strangers, a simple gift. Or call it what you will. We know it when we see it and this vignette from DeKalb, Indiana, is the real thing. The deed surely will not be forgotten by 11-year-old Phil Mick.

At Christmastime last year, Phil and his mother, Tammy Mick, attended an event held by a motorcycle shop in DeKalb for families who couldn’t afford a holiday celebration. There they met Brent Warfield of KDZ Motorcycle Sales & Service.

Phil’s mother confided to Warfield that her son had been getting physically bullied for the past two years. Mick told The Washington Post she suspected it after he came home with bruises. Kids at his school would hit, punch and call Phil names, she said. The 11-year-old told WTSP he was being bullied for being overweight.

The boy’s plight struck a chord with Warfield. “I was bullied when I was younger,” he told The Washington Post. “I know what it’s like to be picked on.”

“I told his mom, ‘I’ve got a bunch of big-hearted biker friends who would love to help.’ “

A couple of days before the start of school this week, Warfield took Phil to the mall to get new clothes and some school supplies.

Then Warfield, who is the director of United Motorcycle Enthusiasts, put a message on his Facebook page inviting Indiana bikers to escort Phil to school. He wrote, “Were hopefully going to make a positive [impact] for Phil and hopefully show the other kids that bullying isn’t cool.”

The first day of school rolled around Aug. 1. That morning, a group of bikers met Phil and his mom for breakfast at Richard’s, a local restaurant. When they left, people on bikes were out in the parking lot, Warfield said. Some of the bikers had traveled over an hour to escort Phil to school. Some took the day off work.

Before the ride, a member from the Christian Motorcyclists Association led a prayer wishing Phil a safe school year. There they were, gathered in a circle, heads bowed, all the new friends of Phil.

Going to school can be tough, the prayer leader said. “You know, Lord, that there are people out there that are just not nice… . Lord, I ask that you make your presence known to Phil as he goes to school, not just today, but all through the school year. Let him know that you are there with him, that he can lean on you… . Amen.”

Phil hopped on the back of a bike for his first motorcycle ride, and the group, resplendent on their Harleys and in their leather jackets, thundered down the street.

The glorious growl of 50 big bike engines reverberated off the brick walls of DeKalb Middle School as they pulled up, sending a message no one could miss.

Principal Matt Vince fully approved, he told the Brown County Democrat. “Standing up against bullying – we need more of that. And they did it in a positive way.”

“Phil was just in heaven. He wasn’t apprehensive or scared. He walked in with confidence,” Warfield said. “This is his new start. He was happy as heck.”

Warfield said the work isn’t over. The Indiana motorcyclists have organized a suicide awareness and teen bullying ride scheduled for late September. Phil plans to speak at the event.

As for Phil, he hasn’t stopped smiling, his mother said. He told her, she said, that “he has new brothers and sisters watching over him.”

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer teacher engages students with “cool” science experiments

On Thursday, he made fire dance to the beat of the music

Bower Place gets okay to redevelop

Red Deer municipal planning commission approves plans

Concerns raised about ice-cream-eating bear at drive-thru in Innisfail

Concerns are being raised about a video of a Kodiak bear from… Continue reading

WATCH: Marijuana in the Workplace information luncheon held in Red Deer

Central Alberta businesses need to prepare for the legalization of marijuana. That… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month