DUNKIRK, N.Y. (WIVB) - One man with special needs in Dunkirk is being stalked and terrorized. His family, desperate for help, called News 4 because they want the bullying to stop.
Mikey Gonzalez is diagnosed with Tourette syndrome and takes medication for it. When he's aggravated, Mikey can't control what he shouts and he hits himself.
He enjoys riding his bike in along the shores of Lake Erie in Dunkirk. Sometimes he rides up to 12 hours and 25 miles a day.
"Ride my bike. I ride my bike all the time. Go to work and back. Work every day. Go to my mom's on weekends. Go to church on Sundays," Mikey said.
Unfortunately, often before reaching his destination, bullies reach him. Mikey says he's bullied on a daily basis by everyone, ranging from kids to grown adults.
Video publicly posted on YouTube features two men in a car, chasing down Mikey on his bike, and taunting him, making cat noises at him.
VIDEO | Watch the videos from YouTube Warning: the video may be disturbing to some viewers
They make the cat noises "to get me angry and stuff because I don't like animals," Mikey explained.
His dislike of animals stems from when Mikey was child. He was mauled by a dog twice and he hasn't been the same since.
"He doesn't know how to control his anger and then people picking on him brings it out," his brother, Sam Gonzalez, explained.
The YouTube video is disturbing to watch but Mikey's loved ones insist people see it in order, they hope, to get the help they need.
"It needs to be out there. People need to know that this is going on. And to stop. It's not his fault he is the way he is. And you should not be picking on him," Mikey's friend Amanda Mick said.
News 4 found four publicly posted videos online. In each one, you hear laughing, taunting, and a complete disregard for Mikey's safety. While provoked, he's hit himself so many times, so hard, he's now blind in one eye.
"It's disgusting. It is sick. It is sick to think that anybody could get a thrill off of watching someone else hurt himself. Or go through pain," Amanda said.
News 4's Lou Raguse showed the video to the Dunkirk school superintendent, who was appalled.
"I think it's a horrible thing. It's a very tragic situation. And I want to work closely with Dunkirk Police, because this situation has to be taken care of right away. It's not fair for that poor gentleman to have to go through this," Superintendent Gary Cerne said.
Some of the people bullying Mikey are grown adults. "High school kids. Little kids. Adults," Sam said are the types of people taunting his brother. "Makes me feel like they need to grow up."
News 4 found the two men featured in the YouTube video entitled "Catman hunting with Mateo and Budson." The men are Matt Colon and Ryan Hudson.
Colon graduated last year from Dunkirk High School. His friends refer to him as "Mateo" on Facebook and Twitter. Ryan Hudson is a recent Dunkirk dropout known to his friends as "Budson."
In the five-minute video, Colon and Hudson drive alongside Mikey while he's on his bike. They mock him and laugh at him. Mikey tries get away, but they corner him and then follow him across town back to a spot Mikey tried to hide from them.
We showed the videos to the Dunkirk Police Chief who said what Colon and Hudson are doing to Mikey could result in charges being filed.
News 4's Lou Raguse tracked down Ryan "Budson" Hudson and asked him why he made the video.
"I didn't make the video," he claimed.
When asked "Why'd you drive the car? Do you think it's funny to pick on a disabled guy?" by Raguse, Hudson responded with anger.
"Get the f*** out of here," Hudson said. "Don't come to my workplace harassing me. "I told you I didn't make no f***ing video. Was I the one shooting the video?"
Hudson defends himself by repeating he was only driving the car, not the one holding the camera. He declined a request for a formal interview, choosing instead to make an obscene gesture at the camera.
Following the confrontation between Raguse and Hudson, a bystander who knows Mikey asked to see the video, but then couldn't watch. "I don't want to see that anymore," she said. "I think it's absolutely horrendous."
Many other Dunkirk residents we showed the video to were also disgusted.
"I think they're sick. I think there's something wrong with them," one resident said, after being shown the video.
However, while many were disturbed by what they saw, the prevailing opinion was that nothing can be done.
"How do you stop something like that, even if it's a family member or anybody?" another resident questioned.
Mikey's friends and family refuse to believe nothing can be done but know that it'll take a widespread change of attitude in the community to make the bullying stop.
"Stop them! Do something! Tell them to stop! Call the cops. Nobody does anything. They just watch it then turn the other way," Amanda said, frustrated. "Nobody being should be treated this way. Nobody. No human being should have to go through this."
On his Twitter feed, Matt "Mateo" Colon mocked our request for an interview, and bragged to friends that he's now going to be famous.
Dunkirk Police have started investigating the incidents and have assigned a detective to the case. If you have any information, call 366-2266 or the confidential tipline at 363-0313.
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