Amputee Dad Says G20 Police Ripped Off Prosthetic Leg

Jul 6th 2010 – 12:23PM
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An Ontario father's tale of abuse at the hands of the police during the G20 summit in Toronto is sparking outrage on the Internet.

John Pruyn, a 57-year-old amputee from Thorold, Ont., says he was sitting on the grass at Queen's Park with his daughter Saturday, June 26, taking in peaceful demonstrations when a stream of riot police stormed the area.

He told Doug Draper, of the online news site Niagara at Large, that police became violent with him when he was slow to move due to the prosthetic limb he wears on his left leg, which was amputated after a farming accident 17 years ago.

He alleges police ripped off the artificial leg, grabbed his walking sticks, and tied his hands before telling him to hop, even as his daughter and bystanders pleaded with the police to give him time to move. Impatient officers began "kicking and hitting" Pruyn, with one officer allegedly pressing Pruyn's head to the ground with his knee, before he was dragged along on the pavement. A week later, Pruyn says his head is still hurting.

Through it all, the Revenue Canada employee was accused of "resisting arrest" and of spitting on police -- something he says he did not do.

However, the ordeal didn't end there for Pruyn. He was taken to a make-shift detention centre where he was kept in a jail cell before being released the next day. Pruyn says police never gave him a reason for his arrest.

"John's story is one of the most shocking of the whole (G20 summit) weekend," Peter Kormos, the Ontario New Democratic Party's justice critic, told Niagara at Large. "He is not a young man and he is an amputee. ... John is not a troublemaker. He is a peacemaker and like most of the people who were arrested, he was never charged with anything, which raises questions about why they were arrested in the first place."

Reaction to the story has been swift, with some commenters calling for a full public inquiry into the police response.

"How could large numbers of Canadians turn a blind eye to this terrible story and still cling to the opinion that authorities acted responsibly on that dreadful weekend -- or, worse, that merely by being on the scene everyone present was 'asking for it'?" asked reader Bruce Dickson.
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