Bullied man honored for courage at Rocky statue

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania -- A mentally disabled man victimized by a group of teens on a video that went viral was shown kindness from strangers.

Mark Smith was met at the Rocky Statue at the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Sunday morning with a standing ovation.

Smith was awarded the Medal of Courage from the non-profit Teach Anti Bullying, Inc.

It wasn't long ago, Smith was a bullying victim. He was waiting for a bus earlier this month in Germantown and then was sucker punched in the face by teens who have since been arrested.

But on Sunday, it was about celebrating Smith's ability to move on and for the fight against bullying to continue.

"We just want to bring a smile back to his face. He's deserving of it. He's very courageous," Teach Anti Bullying, Inc. founder Dr. Claudio Cerullo said.

Related: Victim in viral assault video receives special Flyers jersey

Along with the medal, Smith got a shirt and an autographed picture of his favorite athlete Steph Curry.

"We love the support, how everyone is reaching it, showing him that Mark, it's OK to move on with your life," Smith's caretaker Pam Pendelton said.

Pendelton's message to bullies is simple: stop.

"I pray for the kids that they get themselves together," Pendelton said.

Dr. Cerullo adds the reason he chose the Rocky Statue for the ceremony was because the iconic boxer and Smith have a lot in common.

"We think Mark is a true champion and he exemplifies the Rocky type behavior," Cerullo said.

And because it was his birthday just a day earlier - he turned 40 - Smith was also the recipient of the 'Happy Birthday' song.
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