Thanks for reading my last article on Crunch on Church! Took me a long time to write that!
Mall Showdown will be quickly done! These articles deal with police confrontations with me on the grounds that I look or act “Drunk” when, in fact, I am not. I have a genetic syndrome called CAPOS that strongly affects my balance, hearing, vision, and motion.
This time the altercation took place at Square One Mall; a very large and busy mall in Mississauga, Ontario.
I was at Square One with my wife, son, her cousin, and cousin’s daughter. Also, I had to use my wife’s inaccessible smartphone as my BlackBerry was in for repairs. Inaccessible because I could barely see the text, and I could not activate the zoom feature it supposedly has.
A few other facts: My gait was not that bad at the time (summer 2010), but I was noticeably more off balance. And, just so you know, when I use any cellphone, tablet or laptop, it is usually is right under my nose, maybe 4 or 5 inches away.
I cruised the mall solo because I didn’t want to go Bra Shopping with the ladies! I was not inclined to shop or eat; enjoying my freedom. I walked for an hour and found myself in the lower food court. I decided to attempt to text my wife, let her know I’m in the food court. As aforementioned, my wife’s smartphone was inaccessible, I’m most likely holding it closer than I normally would and being frustrated with it because I could not see it clearly. I’m oblivious to foot traffic in the area.
Presently I look up, having, probably, successfully texted my wife my whereabouts, to find two Mall Cops in front of me. How long had they been there? I know not. After pocketing the phone, I gestured “Deaf” and “What’s up Shrug”. The Mall Cops continued to talk as if they expect all Deaf people can lipread, they did not write down anything. With no understanding of what was happening and knowing I did nothing wrong, I decided to walk away. I know my rights, Security can not physically touch a person without cause, but they can swarm the person in an attempt to remove him or her from the grounds. I walked away from the Mall Cops and entered the nearby Disney Store. They followed, waiting outside the store, soon, two became six! When I noticed this development, I discarded the shirt I was looking at and walked back into the mall. I spied two more approaching when, finally, I was close enough to a Security Officer to blast her with a “olfactory assault” of my coffee saturated breath! She backed off fast, probably signalling the rest to do the same. Being Deaf, I did not catch her assumed “Sorry to bother you” catchall statement.
My wife arrived about 5 minutes later, having, luckily, missed the whole shebang! I explained what happened, and with her help to interpret, went to the Security Office. The Security Office informed me that a male “appeared to be drunk” in the food court. There it is again! Drunk! Drunk person! Drunk! Someone assumed the worst and called Security instead of trying to solve the (non) problem themselves. Plus it is incredible Security assumed that the “DRUNK” person cannot hear spoken communication, walks jerkily, and holds a phone five inches from nose! That person is not “DRUNK” but disabled! That person is ME!
Having received a verbal (signed by my wife) apology from the Security Officer, I walked away without a backwards glance. I let it go. But, rest assured, if this sort of situation happens again, I will confront, I will haggle! You don’t assume I’m Drunk!
thank you all for reading!
Next in this series is “Laughed off the Bus…”