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Frontline hero treated like a total zero. His crime? Not wearing a mask at a hockey arena

What happened to Jim Gaston was despicable. He was verbally harassed, assaulted, had his phone damaged, and then booted from the arena. Then the police re-victimized the victim. Why?

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Last Sunday, Jim Gaston brought his 14-year-old son to play hockey at the Bond Lake Arena in Richmond Hill, Ontario. As per usual, he wasn’t wearing a mask. Going maskless at this arena was never an issue all season long — until last weekend.

That’s because a COVID-Karen (who was wearing two masks, no less) began to hector Jim for not wearing a face diaper. This caught the attention of other individuals. But what happened next was downright disturbing: a small mob gathered, and they began to verbally abuse Jim. One allegedly threatened to knock Jim’s teeth out.

By the way, it should be noted that Jim is an ex-firefighter who suffers from a spinal cord disability. This injury causes Jim’s legs to quiver, and when some of the people bullying him say Jim’s legs shaking, they began to mock him for being “scared.”

And when Jim pulled out his cellphone to record the men who were bullying him, one individual knocked it out of his hands. This thug then proceeded to stomp on it, damaging the device in the process. It was surreal.

Soon after, two members of the York Regional Police arrived on the scene. Jim says they checked the arena’s video surveillance footage, which depicted that an assault had indeed occurred.

But get this: Jim — not the aggressor — was told to leave the premises and not to return unless he wanted to be charged with trespassing. Meanwhile, the individual who committed the assault and vandalism was apparently allowed to remain and watch the hockey game.

We reached out to the media relations department to determine what was the rationale behind the officers' decision. We also wanted to know if the individual who swatted the phone from Jim's hand will be charged with assault and for committing vandalism. As well, is Jim banned from visiting the rink indefinitely, or merely for a specified period of time? (At time of writing we had not heard back from York Regional Police; as well, we were informed that the rink will only surrender its video footage to police, not media or individual citizens.)

What is especially bizarre is that mask mandates are being dropped all over the world. The mask rule is even expected to be toast in the People’s Republic of Ontario by the end of the month.

And speaking of sports, did any of these hockey fans tune into the Super Bowl in mid-February? Did they notice that virtually none of the more than 70,000 fans in attendance at SoFi Stadium were masked-up and socially distancing? And yet, when last we checked, the City of Angels has not emerged as a super spreader venue.

What happened to Jim Gaston was despicable. He was verbally harassed, assaulted, had his phone damaged, and then booted from the arena. Then the police re-victimized the victim. Why?

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  • By Ezra Levant

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