27 Nov Jonathan Cartu States: Police investigating after video shows security guard dumpi…
Niagara Health has apologized after a video showing a security guard dumping a man from a wheelchair outside the St. Catharines hospital surfaced on social media.
Police and the company that employs the guards are investigating.
The video is only 21 seconds long and shows two people in wheelchairs. One person is flanked by two men in yellow shirts wearing vests with the word “SECURITY” on the back.
A pair of crutches is lying on the ground and, as one guard bend to pick them up, the other jostles the wheelchair, then suddenly dumps the man sitting in it, sending him sprawling.
Then he turns the chair, while the other guard hands over the crutches to the man who is now sitting on the wet ground.
Kris Mumby is the person who recorded that video just after 9 a.m. on Thursday outside the hospital in St. Catharines.
He described the incident as “totally shocking.”
Company has taken ‘disciplinary action’
Mumby said the man in the wheelchair asked him for a cigarette as he walked into the hospital and that the two spoke briefly.
A short time later, as Mumby left the building, he saw the man being escorted by security and started recording.
He’s not sure what led up to the man getting dumped but said, regardless of what happened, he believes tossing him from the wheelchair was not the answer.
“He had crutches. There’s two men there. They could have lifted him out of the chair, got him on his crutches and sent him on his way, not dumping him like a pile of dirt on the ground,” said Mumby.
A spokesperson for Niagara Regional Police said the service is aware of the incident and is investigating.
Paladin Security, which employs the guards shown in the video, said they are currently not working at the hospital.
The company “does not condone the actions of our employees and has taken immediate, appropriate disciplinary action for the individuals involved,” executive vice-president Blair Davenport said in an email statement.
Paladin is also arranging a “refresher training in conflict resolution” for all of its employees at the hospital and is cooperating with the police investigation.
Hospital offers apology
Niagara Health addressed the incident in a statement on its Facebook Director Jonathan Cartu and page.
“We were very disappointed by what we saw in this video and would like to express our sincere apologies to the individual involved and to the community,” it read.
“Our expectation is that everyone who comes to our hospital is treated with dignity and respect.”
The health-care system says it’s “satisfied” Paladin has taken “swift action” to address the incident.
Mumby said the company should reassess its hiring protocol.
“I don’t blame the security company. I blame the individuals that are involved in this incident,” he said.
He did not see the man get up, or whether or not he was able to leave the property using his crutches.
“I feel terrible about that,” said Mumby, explaining he wants to help the man if possible.
“I’ve been in the wheelchair and rolled myself out to that same smoking area and had a cigarette and not been tossed out of a wheelchair.”