In an interview with Australia's ACA Channel 9, 15-year old Casey Heynes finally tells his story. After a lifetime of bullying, Heynes opened up on television about the viral video in which he body-slammed a bully, about losing his friends to bullies, and about his lowest moment yet: "I contemplated suicide."
Speaking of the bully, Heynes said, "He just came up out of nowhere and grabbed me by the shirt, and then he punched me in the face. Then he goes for a second hit...then a third hit...fourth and fifth, trying to hit me. And then, I actually snapped and grabbed him, picked him up off the ground, and threw him to the ground in self-defense." After years of bullying, he had had enough.
"I wasn't really thinking...I was like 'yay, finally, it's over.'"
Heynes said that he's been bullied since primary (elementary) school. "Once I hit high school, one person started it. I had about eight friends. My eight friends ditched me that first year. And then the teasing started from there."
It felt "lonely," Heynes said, "I was all alone."
"They called me fatty and all of that." The bullies would slap him across the back of the head and trip him on a near-daily basis. Once he was even duct-tapped to a pole. "They put duct-tape over my eyes first."
What got you through, the interviewer asked? "My sister."
His father, also interviewed by ACA Sunday, said "I didn't realize how much trouble he was actually in until I saw that video. And he [Casey] said, 'Well that goes on everyday dad.' ... I had a tear in my eye. I felt so bad."
"I'm glad he stood up for himself...I'm proud of him," Casey's father said.
Now, instead of eight lost friends, Casey has thousands who have poured out in support of him online, calling him a hero, a super hero, and the punisher, among other adulations.
So Casey's spirits are in a better place than they were a year ago, when he was contemplating suicide. He's feeling "pretty good" these days. "I've never had so much support."
To all the other bullied kids out there, the punisher has this message: "Look for the good days. Keep your chin up. And school ain't going to last forever."
Watch the full interview here: