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Zangief Kid (a.k.a “Casey the Punisher”) refers to a video clip showing a 12-year-old student Ritchard Gale harassing the taller 15-year-old Casey Heynes. After being punched and harassed for several moments, Heynes retaliates by grabbing Ritchard and power slamming him into the ground. Casey has been nicknamed “Zangief Kid” by many Internet users referring to the pro-wrestler character Zangief from the video game series Street Fighter.
The video was first uploaded to YouTube on March 14th, 2011 and was subsequently posted to Reddit in a thread titled “Child finally snaps after being bullied.” YouTube quickly removed the video for violating the Terms of Service because it contained violent footage involving minors, but several copies were re-uploaded with alternative titles. Some viewers began referring to Heynes as the “Zangief Kid” since the grappling move he used closely resembles the signature “Spinning Piledriver”  special throw for the character Zangief in the Street Fighter video game series.
The same day the video was uploaded to YouTube, it quickly gained views after being posted on the page for “Jess Cooper’s 16th open house party”, a public Facebook event that had become the target of trolling attacks similar to Kate’s Birthday. Also on March 14th, the domain casyheynes.com was registered for a single topic blog about Heynes and one of the witness’ parents posted a copy of the video on Facebook with the following explanation:
“The larger kid on the right is Casey. Poor Casey has been bullied his whole high school life, and this is what happens when he snaps!! But guess who was suspended in this scenario – Casey!!”
The terms “Zangief” and “Bullying FAIL” appeared on the worldwide trending list on Twitter. An open Facebook group was created by one of Casey’s classmates, who identified the location as the Chifley College Dunheved Campus, a middle school in St. Marys North, New South Wales, Australia. The page contained the following message which has since been removed:
Although I don’t condone violence, I felt compelled to pat him on the back with a big massive kudos!! To all the bullies out there – you will get yours one day!
And for those who feel inspired by Casey’s retaliation – feel free to post a message here for him! He doesn’t have facebook, but practically lives at my house and he is very excited to see what messages will be here for him each day!
Moderators on the forums for the MMA site Sherdog deleted all threads mentioning Zangief Kid, and posted that they will punish users who post forum threads about it for violating a rule prohibiting street fight videos. The video was posted by a number of viral culture blogs including Daily Picks & Flicks, FunnyJunk and BuzzFeed.
On 4chan, Casey was praised as a hero with comparisons to Chuck Norris, while vilifying the bully in the video Ritchard Gale. On the night of 14th of March, Ritchard’s personal information was released and many Anons claimed on 4chan that they made abusive phone calls to his parent’s home. Similar to the Amber Lamps mystery from the Epic Beard Man saga, /b/ also attempted to identify the courageous female student at the end of the video. Anon members who were angered by Casey’s suspension called for emails to be sent to the Chifley College Dunheved Campus.
Hello Chifley College Dunheved Campus.
Today is a wonderous day indeed. Today is the day where /b/ will decide to slander your school
for slandering the weak and innocent, Casey Heynes, which as most of the world probably knows
by know is the prime candidate for /b/ to protect.
Know this, we will continue to slander your campus in public through internet protests and viral
spreading of the video to reflect on how you have mistreated our poor Casey Heynes in favor of the pathetic Ritchard
(seriously, who spells his name this way? Only the parents of a skinny, pathetic, Aussie bully).
Needless to say, we want you to remove and void Casey’s suspension and also give him a public apology
for slandering his act of self-defense. We also demand that Ritchard be reprimanded for his poor
choice of actions.
Note that Casey Heynes was severely outnumbered. Note that the cameraboy, as well as a group of taller
and larger boys were provoking this attack, urging pathetic Ritchard to continually harass and attack our convicted:
Casey Heynes. Not only has Casey Heynes been harassed for years and years, and when he finally stood up to protect himself,
something that has struck a soft spot in the Anonymous that have taken action, Casey Heynes was the one that was punished.
This is your last warning. Remove the suspension, give Casey an apology, and suspend Ritchard. If you do not
meet our demands, then we will continue to systematically harass your campus just as you did to Casey Heynes.
Oh, and a side note:
We want you to dress up in costumes of ham and parade around the city to teach you a lesson in punishing the innocent.
In Australia, the video was featured in the evening news of various news stations across the country. The video re-ignited a debate about bullying in schools, and tended to be mainly supportive of Casey’s actions. On March 15th, TMZ reported that both Casey and Ritchard were suspended as a result of the fight:
TMZ spoke with a family member of one of the kids … who told us the bully was suspended for twenty-one days following the incident and the kid being bullied was suspended for 4 -- since he was violent as well.
We’re also told the kid on the receiving end of the vicious body slam did not suffer any serious injuries … despite the fact he came off the ground with a severe limp.
Sources tell us the kid who was being bullied is handling the media attention surprisingly well -- and is “very happy” he’s received so much support.
On March 20th, 2011, Casey appeared in a special edition of the Australian program “A Current Affair” where he was exclusively interviewed about the ordeal. In the interview he reveals that bullying had been an ongoing problem throughout his life, and that the confrontation with Ritchard had not been an isolated incident. The program also highlights the public reaction to his actions, describing him as a hero.
In response to the Casey Heynes interview, the Australian program “Today Tonight” exclusively interviewed Ritchard Gale on March 21st, 2011. Ritchard denies that he was a bully and claimed that he was initially provoked by Casey. After being influenced by his father, Ritchard finally apologized for the incident, went on to reveal that he himself has been a victim of bullying throughout his life.
Casey Joins Justin Bieber On Stage
On May 2nd, 2011, Justin Bieber flew Casey out to his show in Melbourne, Australia and had him come on stage as part of an anti-bullying campaign. According to Australian news site news.com.au:
Heynes was called onstage to introduce Bieber’s song Never Say Never – also the title of Bieber’s 3D concert film – before he and the 17-year-old Canadian star embraced.
‘’Everybody give it up for this kid,’’ he said.
“I just wanted to say, he is very inspirational. He shows other people to stand up for what they believe in.”
Many YouTube parody videos were made, several of which reframed the fight into a Street Fighter 2 arcade scenario.
news.com.au – Justin Bieber sought out bullying victim Casey Heynes to help spread anti-bullying message / 5/3/2011