Guards' treatment of wheelchair man probed

Nov. 2, 2012 at 1:38 PM
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- British Columbia's justice minister said she ordered an investigation into the alleged violent handling of a wheelchair-bound customer in a shopping mall.

Cellphone video footage taken at the Pacific Center in Vancouver Oct. 6 shows a one-legged man in a wheelchair, suspected of shoplifting, allegedly being stopped by three security guards who swear at him, appear to hit him, pull him out of the chair and order him to lie on the ground, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Friday.

"Of course I'm troubled," said Justice Minister Shirley Bond. "We're going to do a thorough investigation. That's exactly what people expect us to do."

Ashley Meehan, vice president of Genesis Security, employer of the guards, said Wednesday the victim was known to the them from previous incidents, aggressively resisted them and possibly assaulted them before any video was recorded.

But the company said Thursday one of the guards in the incident had been fired and the other two were suspended pending further action.

No charges were filed against the guards or the alleged shoplifter and police said they have not been able to locate the man in the wheelchair.

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