LETHBRIDGE - They wear leather jackets with patches, have "street" names, ride mean looking bikes, and look a little rough around the edges.
They're supposed to.
They're the non- profit group "Bikers Against Child Abuse," and they have three chapters in Alberta - Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge - and other chapters all over the world.
The group was founded in 1995 in Utah, and quickly expanded to other states.
On April 22nd, they're asking all local bikers to come out and support them in an awareness ride about "Baby Austin Wright," who died April 28, 2016.
The little boy was left in the care of his mother's boyfriend while she went to work. Shortly after she left, Lethbridge EMS responded to a report of a baby in medical distress.
Police say when paramedics got to the scene, they found that the baby was not breathing and in cardiac arrest. A short time later he was pronounced dead.
An autopsy concluded the child died of blunt force trauma not consistent with a fall.
41- year old Tyler Brian Hogan has been charged with one count of second degree murder in the child's death. His preliminary hearing gets underway in Lethbridge April 20th.
B.A.C.A.'s mandate is to protect and create a safe environment for children who have been abused physically, emotionally or sexually abused, and their families.
Lethbridge spokesperson "Coach," says they are often called upon by victims services, social services, family services, counsellors and even police to provide emotional and physical support.
According to their website, "Prior to becoming the primary contacts for the child, the bikers are cleared for participation by passing an extensive background check, have ridden with the Chapter for at least a year, and have received special instructions from a Licensed Mental Health Professional."
"Coach" says although the group looks rough, they're everyday men and women in the community who want to help empower and protect kids.
"We have carpenters, mechanics... we have truck drivers, we have business people of all shapes and sizes.... we care about kids and they're our heroes is who they are."
He says they're hoping for 100 or so bikers to take part in the event, and Baby Austin's family will also be there.
"They do have bikes, so I believe they will be with us and I think that is one of the reasons they came to us."
The bikers will meet at 12:30 pm at the north end of Henderson Lake and the family will read a short prayer.
B.A.C.A. will then read their mission statement and kick stands will be up at 1:30 pm.
The ride will go along 43rd Street to Highway 3, then to Fort Macleod and back, while Lethbridge Police and RCMP will provide an escort during the procession.
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