Former mayor 'amazed' by man in wheelchair's bravery
Published Tuesday, November 9, 2010 6:32PM PST
A man in a wheelchair's heroic intervention to stop a convenience store robbery has earned him the praise of Vancouver's former mayor.
Sam Sullivan, who also uses a wheelchair to get around, said he was blown away by the actions of Larry Skopnik. Skopnik stepped in when he saw a man threaten a clerk by putting the man in a headlock and bringing him to the ground.
"I was amazed," Sullivan said after watching the video of the incident. "That's a risky thing to do. With a robbery in progress, you don't just jump in there. There you go, that guy's got a lot of guts."
Skopnik was shopping at the Food Stop on Commercial Drive on Saturday night when a man tried to pass a suspicious $50 bill. When the clerk refused to accept it, surveillance video shows the man charge behind the counter.
Skopnik rolled towards the counter and put the man in a headlock. The pair wrestled for a few seconds and Skopnik brought him to the floor.
It's an inspiring video to watch, said James Willetts, who runs a program with B.C. Mobility Opportunities Society that puts disabled people into gliders.
"People look at people in wheelchairs differently now," he said. "They think, ‘Maybe we shouldn't mess with people in chairs.'"
Skopnik's story has gained international attention, but he says the spotlight is overwhelming.
"I don't feel like a hero and I'm not really comfortable with this limelight," he said. "What made me do that is inside of me. It has nothing to do with disability."
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Jon Woodward