A disabled man has claimed he was ‘assaulted’ by security guards who threw him out of Meadowhall following a furious argument.
Peter Harwood was shopping at Meadowhall when he noticed a security guard asking a group of young people to leave Meadowhall for ‘loitering’.
One of the youths was told he would be ‘forcibly removed’ if he did not leave before the security guard attempted to guide him out.
At this point Mr Harwood interferes, ordering the security guard to ‘stop touching’ the youths before he is warned he would be arrested for a breach of the peace.
After an argument, Mr Harwood is arrested and lead out of the shopping centre, screaming to be let go and shouting ‘I’m disabled’.
Mr Harwood has since claimed he was assaulted by the ‘security guards’ but South Yorkshire Police said there was ‘insufficient evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that an assault had taken place’.
He said: “My 15-year-old son was in Meadowhall on that day so it could easily have been him being told to leave by the security guards.
“I did not go looking for this but I was just questioning the guard’s actions. I was in shock and the whole thing seemed it was in slow motion. I remember seeing shocked shoppers faces as they saw a disabled man with a walking stick being assaulted by three large security guards.”
Footage of the incident was captured on one of the security guard’s body worn camera and has been released, along with witness statements, by Meadowhall to Mr Harwood.
In the footage, Mr Harwood can be heard questioning the guard why the youths are being thrown out for loitering, claiming ‘you can’t loiter in a shopping mall’.
As part of Meadowhall’s Visitor Code of Conduct, they said they will not permit ‘any actions that may be perceived as intimidating’, including youths loitering on the malls.
They added that they reserve the right to refuse entry to, or remove any person or persons from its property.
A furious Mr Harwood asks security guards ‘what are you going to do, arrest me?’ during the argument before being restrained from behind and led into a nearby corridor.
Security guards ask Mr Harwood to put his walking stick away and to calm down, before an irate Mr Howard shouts and swears at them.
In a statement to South Yorkshire Police, Mr Harwood explained that he has a number of mental health and physical disabilities causing him to walk with a stick.
He said that he was in Meadowhall with his son and daughter to spend some of their Christmas money when he noticed the gang of youths being asked to leave.
He said he impulsively intervened as he noticed the youth looking ‘petrified’ before claiming he was assaulted by the guard.