Man in wheelchair thwarts robbery in B.C.
A Vancouver man in a wheelchair who stopped a robbery at a convenience store over the weekend says his actions may appear impressive, but he was just doing what his parents raised him to do: help others.
Larry Skopnik was in a Commercial Drive Food Stop on Saturday when a man at the counter became aggressive after the clerk would not accept his suspicious-looking $50 bill.
The man told the female clerk he was going to rob her and then moved behind the counter. Skopnik rolled up, grabbed the man by the torso and, after a struggle that threw him from his wheelchair, the pair fell to the ground. Other store patrons held the suspect until police arrived.
On Monday, clerk Cindy Grewal called Skopnik "a hero."
"Honest to God, my heart goes to him because he didn't think about it that he can't walk," Grewal told CTV British Columbia, "but still he managed to get out of the chair and grab him down and put him down."
Skopnik denied that he is a hero, saying, "I usually stand up for the little person and people that need help."
He also said the fact that he is in a wheelchair will not keep him from helping others.
"I don't think there should be any big deal made about it. Yes I'm in a wheelchair but I still have all the morals and standards that my dad and mother put into me to help people, to stand up to bullies," Skopnik told CTV News Channel Tuesday afternoon in an interview from Vancouver.
"People have a perception of people in wheelchairs as being unable when we're 99 per cent able. There's only four things I can't do in life, and that's walk, run, jump and kick. Everything else I'm totally able to do, and helping other people is one of them."
Skopnik has been in a wheelchair since he was injured in an ATV accident 10 years ago.
He said he was thinking about protecting Grewal from getting hurt, and not his own safety, when he decided to intervene.
"Right at the moment he was going in and getting physical with her I figured that was unacceptable to cross that boundary," Skopnik told CTV B.C. "And all you really want to do is end the situation."
With files from CTV British Columbia's Jon Woodward