When one goes to a shopping mall, it’s usually to — as the name of such an establishment implies — take part in some shopping.
That’s what the Janzens, Carol, 54, and Eero, 64, did last month at Thunder Bay, Ontario, when they visited the Intercity Shopping Centre.
For the most part, it was a non-eventful day. The Janzens made some purchases and eventually proceeded to leave the shopping mall.
As they strolled past the (then) closed food court, Eero needed to rest, so he sat for a spell on the steps near the food court.
Eero is struggling with prostate cancer, and sometimes he gets tired easily. And that is when, allegedly, all hell broke loose.
According to the Janzens, a mall security guard yelled at Eero, telling him in no uncertain terms that he was not allowed to sit down anywhere in the mall due to COVID-19 protocols. The security guard was also allegedly upset that the Janzens were not wearing face masks, even though this incident occurred days before Thunder Bay enacted its mandatory mask bylaw.
Needless to say, words were exchanged.
The Janzens made their way out of the mall towards their Buick SUV that was parked in the handicapped area. (The Janzens have a handicapped permit).
That’s when the security guard told them he had a “Christmas” gift for them: namely, the couple was “banned for life” from visiting Intercity Shopping Centre.
More words were exchanged and then things really went sideways:
As Carol was entering the Buick, the guard (who was now joined by two of his colleagues) allegedly slammed her into the door, injuring Carol and damaging the vehicle to the tune of some $2,500.
Carol was handcuffed with plastic twist ties and police were called. One of the guards claimed that Carol had spat on him, something that Carol vehemently denies.
Nevertheless, Carol was charged with assault, and later this month must go to a Thunder Bay police station to submit her fingerprints and mugshots.
(It should be noted that none of the allegations have been proven._
However, we recently visited Thunder Bay to get the mall’s side of the story. Despite repeated phone calls, Stacey Ball, the general manager of the Intercity Shopping Centre, has not responded.
As well, when we spoke to security guards at the mall (including one who we believe was involved in the altercation), they were evasive and offered no comment.
We also spoke with the Janzens’ lawyer, Richard Garrett, while we were in Thunder Bay.
And get a load of this whopper:
Apparently, security footage of the incident does not exist — even though there are security cameras next to the handicapped parking area where the altercation took place.
We think what happened to the Janzens is egregious and we have decided to take on their case as our latest Fight the Fights initiative to help pay their legal fees.
Retaining a lawyer for the Janzens to fight this assault charge is costly business, but an integral part of bringing you the other side of the story.
If you can help support our efforts, please visit FightTheFines.com to make a donation so that we can get justice for the Janzens.