August 27, 2014 - 1:17 PM
PENTICTON - A group of tattooed and leathered bikers stand outside the Penticton Courthouse, having a smoke and talking amongst themselves. Their motorcycles are parked in a clean line not far from where they congregate, ready to take a ride once court is dismissed later in the day.
Despite their tough appearance, these big guys are a bunch of self-proclaimed teddy bears trying to make a difference in society. They are all members of the Urban Bulldogs Against Kid Abuse, a national organization that works with kids who are victims of abuse.
That is was brings them to court today. They are here to support a young boy testifying about sexual abuse. The bikers have sat in the courtroom every day since the trial began three days ago, and will continue to “stand tall” in the Supreme Courtroom for the remainder of the trial of Tyrone Borba, an Oliver man charged with sexual assault of a minor.
The boy, who testified Tuesday, is a primary witness in the trial. After his court appearance, one of the Bulldogs took him out on his bike for some “wind therapy”—that’s what bikers do when they need to get away, said the Bulldogs’ National President, who could not disclose his name because he is a witness in the case.
Providing this kind of support to kids is the Bulldogs’ main mission. It’s very trying on a young person to deal with court, and the Bulldogs want to make that experience easier for the kid by providing counselling, security, and physically being with the kid in the courtroom, said Gordon Lentz, President of the Edmonton chapter.
“Seeing the reaction of the young gentleman was worth the ride (out here),” said Lentz who rode across the Rockies with other members specifically for the trial.
The Bulldogs, whose national chapter is based in Penticton, work with the RCMP, court and child services, and all types of law enforcement. The organization gets calls from families whose child has been abused and members work with the family and child to build up the child’s mental confidence and let them know it is okay to tell the truth.
Members aren’t going out beating people up, or trying to sway court decisions, the presidents said. It is all for the kids.
“A lot of people look at bikers in a bad light and we’re not in that light,” the National President said.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014