Mayor claims woman ran over his foot during altercation in Surrey, B.C., grocery store parking lot
A Metro Vancouver mayor says tensions over the transition from an RCMP detachment to a municipal police force took a nasty turn over the weekend.
Doug McCallum said he had just parked his car at a grocery store in Surrey on Saturday when it happened.
“I got out of my car, walked down the side of my car to go around the back and then into their entrance, and a car pulled right up very quickly,” he told CTV News Vancouver on Monday of the incident at the Save-On-Foods in South Point Mall.
“She had pinned me sort of so I couldn’t get out, just sat there and yelled at me at the top of her lungs.”
McCallum did not tell CTV News what the woman was yelling, only describing it as calling him names and shouting obscenities. He said it went on for three or four minutes. When people started to stop and stare, he said, she took off.
“She floored it, she turned right and she hit my hip and my knee,” he said. “And ran over my foot.”
McCallum said he decided to pick up his groceries before calling and reporting it to police or going to the hospital to be checked.
“Part of it is that I was in shock, and part of it is that I just wanted to get it done and then go to the hospital,” he said when questioned about why he wouldn’t report it immediate and how he could walk through the grocery store after having his foot run over by a vehicle.
“I’m OK. From my point of view, I’m OK,” he said. “I actually didn’t think there was too much wrong with my foot other than it was throbbing and it was sore.”
In an emailed statement to CTV News, the woman who was driving explained her side of things. She asked that CTV News not use her name as the incident is under police investigation.
“On Saturday, September 4 approximately 9:45 a.m. I entered the parking lot of Save-On-Foods at South Point Mall for a 10-2 p.m. volunteer shift … to collect signatures for a petition for a referendum on policing in Surrey,” said her statement.
She was planning to act as a canvasser for the Surrey Police Vote Citizens Initiative, which calls for a referendum in the city about the transition from the RCMP to the new Surrey Police Service.
“As I came to a stop sign (adjacent to the front entrance of Save-On), McCallum was a little ahead of me putting on his mask to enter the store.”
She said she shouted, "Resign, McCallum," and that he then turned and came to the passenger side of her car.
“He asked in a stern voice, ‘What did you say Madame?’ To which I repeated, ‘Resign, McCallum’,” she wrote. “We exchanged heated words. He told me I didn’t have the authority to be there and was going to call bylaws.”
She told him to go ahead and call while she calls the RCMP, adding in the statement that “at no point did I hit him with my car.”
In the same parking lot Saturday morning, a tent was set up by a group collecting signatures for a petition to hold a referendum to cancel the new Surrey police force.
“I saw this guy walking towards me just at a heck of a gait as if he was going to come over to me and I realized it was Mayor McCallum,” said Ivan Scott, one of the volunteers.
“He came up to me and he put his finger out like this and he said, 'You’re not allowed to be here.'”
Scott said he believes that’s the whole reason Surrey’s mayor came to that grocery store to do his shopping: to run into them and tell them to leave. He explained that they had permission from the store manager to be there.
“(McCallum) said, 'I could have the bylaws (officers) down here and I could evict you,' and etc. 'You’re not allowed to be here,’” said Scott.
To which he replied, “I do have the permission and I invite you to go in and talk to the store manager and go and ask him. And he said, ‘Yes, I will do that’.”
Scott is also in charge of a group called Keep the RCMP in Surrey. He told CTV News that while he was running this tent for signatures he was representing that organization, rather working as a volunteer to get signatures for the petition. He said it’s all been approved by Elections BC.
“This is a man who would do anything in his power to get rid of us and this petition,” said Scott.
The way McCallum described the interaction is different. He claims Scott was walking towards him, and that he didn’t even notice the group was there until he saw Scott.
“(The reason) I wanted to see him was I wanted to tell him that one of his people just ran over my foot,” the mayor said.
McCallum said the conversation remained very calm between the two of them and he simply checked to make sure they’d gotten permission from the store manager to be there.
“I didn’t threaten, I just said our bylaw is enforcing it. As long as he’s had permission to do it that’s fine,” he said.
Surrey RCMP are investigating the incident but did not provide details.
“Police are looking at laying charges so we’ll see what may come as far as that is concerned,” said McCallum, referring to the altercation he had with the woman in the vehicle. “It’s a sign that our communities aren’t safe if anybody can’t go grocery shopping to be approached, and yelled at and screamed at and basically pinned in so they can’t move.”
McCallum said he had X-rays done on his foot and is waiting for results.