An Armstrong woman, an amputee who lost her leg below her knee several years ago, says she was verbally and physically assaulted by a man who couldn’t see her disability as she tried to park in a handicap spot at Vernon’s Walmart Saturday, April 24. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

An Armstrong woman, an amputee who lost her leg below her knee several years ago, says she was verbally and physically assaulted by a man who couldn’t see her disability as she tried to park in a handicap spot at Vernon’s Walmart Saturday, April 24. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Okanagan amputee assaulted over handicap parking spot

Armstrong woman with prosthetic leg says she was verbally attacked and spat on

All Chelaine McInroy wanted at Vernon’s Walmart on a Saturday afternoon stop was to get groceries.

What she got instead, McInroy says, was harassed, verbally assaulted, and spat in her face.

The Armstrong amputee was parking in a handicap spot with a valid parking pass when she says a man came “storming over, screeching at me through my open window about how I clearly wasn’t disabled, that I was just faking it and taking the spot away from someone who truly needs it.”

McInroy shared her story on a Vernon and area community forum page on Facebook.

“He then spat in my face and took off,” said McInroy, 27, who lost her leg below her knee a few years ago.

The incident left McInroy shaken, but otherwise alright, though she now has to worry about exposure to COVID and other transmittable diseases after being spat upon with some of the spit landing in her eye.

“All because I was sitting in my car, and this man couldn’t see my disability,” said McInroy. “I am lucky in that my disability is usually visible (although of course not obvious to this man as I was sitting in my car and the prosthetic was not visible to him), but there are tons of disabilities that aren’t visible.

“That does not give anyone the right to harshly judge others, and it sure as hell is never OK to assault someone like that. Because that is what it is – assault.”

McInroy filed a police report but believes nothing will come of the incident as she said security cameras didn’t catch anything, and she said she was in a state of shock at the audacity of the suspect that she didn’t get a good physical description of the man.

“I beg of you all, if you see something like that happen, step in and help. Or at the very least, take note of the details so hopefully, the person can later be held accountable,” she said, adding that a few people “turned a blind eye and walked away.” “Incidents like this are not as uncommon as you’d think. But they are so wrong, and if nobody ever does anything, it will continue to happen.

“So please, keep an open mind and know that there are a lot of things going on that you might not see or understand, but that does not give you the right to judge and act like that. And if you happen to witness a similar event, do something. The world needs more kindness, especially during these trying times.”

McInroy says she has had a few people glare and/or say some nasty things over parking to her, but it’s never progressed to physical assault before. She says she has been physically assaulted in public before though due to her disability, just not over parking. She also has a service dog who’s been kicked twice before, two separate times.

Her story on Facebook, as of Sunday afternoon, had drawn more than 360 reactions and 120 comments.

READ MORE: Armstrong rallies for athlete

READ MORE: Vernon History in Pictures

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

assaultparking

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

In 1903, if you were looking north down First Avenue with Alberni in the distance, this is what you would have seen. Scattered houses along River Road are visible, as is the corner of Watson Block building in the lower lefthand corner of the photograph. This photo is part of the 24,000 online collection of the Alberni Valley Museum. View this one and more at https://portalberni.pastperfectonline.com. (PHOTO PN02975 COURTESY ALBERNI VALLEY MUSEUM)
LOOK BACK: Historic street scenes of Port Alberni

Take a peek back in time with the Alberni Valley Museum’s digital archives

This photo shows Franklin River Camp "B" circa 1940. Logging was started in the Franklin River area by Bloedel, Stewart & Welch in 1934. This is one of 42 photos of the Franklin River area, donated together in an album put together by the donor's husband, Stanley Young. Young worked as a highrigger in the Franklin River area from 1939-46. This is one of 24,000 photos contained in the Alberni Valley Museum’s digital archives, available for public viewing at https://portalberni.pastperfectonline.com. (PHOTO PN10830 COURTESY ALBERNI VALLEY MUSEUM)
LOOK BACK: Logging along Franklin River

Take a peek at Alberni Valley history with the Alberni Valley Museum

Getting enough Vitamin D can be challenging for Canadians, especially during winter months. (CONTRIBUTED)
ACTIVE LIVING: The ‘sunshine vitamin’ plays a vital role in our health

Port Alberni registered dietitian Sandra Gentleman writes about health issues

Courtenay-Alberni NDP MP Gord Johns gives a thumbs up to active transportation during a presentation of the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce's Bike SEAT program at McLean Mill National Historic site in Port Alberni on April 16, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
QUINN’S QUIPS: MP Gord Johns takes victory ride for cycling strategy

Johns gained a reputation as the bicycle-riding MP during his first year

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read