Man Who Made Headlines For 21-Mile Walking Commute Fears For His Life

| by Lisa Fogarty
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A Detroit factory worker who made headlines for walking 21 miles to and from his job every day has reportedly been forced to move out of his home because he is receiving death threats after all of the positive attention.

People were so inspired by the story of James Robertson, 56, who began walking to work a decade ago after his car broke down and he couldn't afford to replace it, that they tried to help him in any way they could. An online campaign raised more than $350,000 for him and Ford donated a red Taurus to him. But, despite all of the kindness, Robertson was reportedly forced to leave the rooming house he lived in for years because he says he no longer feels safe, reports the Daily Mail.

Police say people were coming to him to ask for money after seeing his story on the news and that they were threatening him with violence, reports the Detroit Free Press. Another reason the man says he fears for his safety is because he heard about an 86-year-old lottery winner in Detroit who was reportedly killed after he disappeared. 

"He knew about that story, and I also know about an incident in the 1st Precinct where a gentleman was killed after he allegedly won some money," said Detroit Police Capt. Aric Tosqui. "In those two examples, no one approached the department. But if somebody won the lottery tomorrow and contacted us, we would look at the situation in the same way and see what we could do."

Robertson is reportedly meeting with a financial advisor to discuss ways he can manage the money he has suddenly accumulated, thanks to the efforts of a college student named Evan Leedy, who created the GoFundMe page for him. He is also getting help from the police, who are assisting him as he relocates from the rooming house that he called home for 15 years.

Sources: Daily Mail, Detroit Free Press/Photo Credit: AP