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

A memorial to former Abbotsford and RCMP police officer Shinder Kirk in Cedar, B.C. Kirk died in a car accident on Cedar Road in December 2018. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Trial begins in Nanaimo for man involved in car crash that killed retired police sergeant

RCMP accident reconstructionist takes stand in trial of Conrad Nikolaus Wetten

Next week Nanaimo singer Laura Kelsey is releasing her new single A Foolish Thing and its accompanying music video. (Video still courtesy Greg Nuspel)
Nanaimo singer joined by wolf, dancers in new music video

‘A Foolish Thing’ is Laura Kelsey’s first professionally made single in seven years

B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson announces an app that is intended to connect children and youths with mental health and addictions services. (B.C. Government image/Flickr)
5 years in the making: Mental health app for youths launches in B.C.

The province provided $1.6 million to fund virtual care platform

Two semi trucks collided on the Nanaimo Parkway just north of Northfield Road on Wednesday morning, May 5. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
UPDATE: Semi truck driver now in stable condition following this week’s crash on Nanaimo Parkway

RCMP repeat call for any dashcam footage around 7:40 a.m. on Wednesday, May 5

Phone companies have the expertise to be able to address the problem of phone scams, says letter writer. (Stock photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Phone companies should crack down on scammers

It’s time for these companies to be held accountable, says letter writer

B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson announces an app that is intended to connect children and youths with mental health and addictions services. (B.C. Government image/Flickr)
5 years in the making: Mental health app for youths launches in B.C.

The province provided $1.6 million to fund virtual care platform

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Most Read