Nova Scotia

Halifax man picked up by police and grateful for it

Brian George was leaving the Halifax Infirmary Friday night after having surgery and says the sidewalks weren't clear enough for his wheelchair. He says a police officer pulled over and gave him a lift home.

'It's really good to see that there are really some great people still in this city'

Brian George is shown in the back of a police vehicle on Friday. George said an officer offered to give him a ride home after seeing he wasn't able to cross the street. (Submitted by Brian George)

Brian George joked he got arrested Friday evening, but he's grateful for it.

What really happened is a police officer saw George and his fiancée unable to get across the street.

George, who requires the use of a wheelchair, was released from the Halifax Infirmary that night after having surgery on Tuesday.

He and his fiancée were able to make it up the street to a crosswalk, but couldn't get across because of ice and snow.

"I had some surgery done to my head and my stomach," George said. "Because of my stomach I couldn't hit any bumps because it was very painful.

"So we turned around and we're going to go back [to the hospital] ... but when we turned around there was a cop car at the stop sign and she offered to give us a lift home."

George said he was glad the police officer, whom Halifax Regional Police later identified as Sgt. Bridget Cross, offered the drive.

He didn't have too far to go. He lives across the street from the Halifax Common.

He said the officer got a few construction workers who were nearby to help get him in the vehicle. He said she then radioed for another police vehicle to come by and pick up his wheelchair.

George shared the story of what happened on Twitter.

While he was happy to get a ride home that night, George said he and his fiancée could have done it on their own had the sidewalks been cleared properly.

While there was a path cleared at the crosswalk, it was only wide enough for someone to walk through it. But there wasn't enough room for a wheelchair.

"It's always bad, but this year it seems to be quite a bit worse," George said.

According to the municipality's website, intersections and bus stops should be cleared 48 hours from the end of a weather event.

If there's more than 30 centimetres of snow on the ground or if there's a blizzard, clearing might take a little longer, according to the website. Nova Scotia had back-to-back storms on Sunday and Monday.

On Thursday, a municipal councillor called for sidewalks to be cleared more quickly, suggesting contractors be on the job while it's still snowing.

George said the 48-hour policy doesn't make sense to him.

"For someone like me and someone else in my situation ... when the sidewalks are that bad, you're housebound — you're not going anywhere."

But George said he'll remember the positives of the police officer who stopped to help.

"We were blown away by that. It's really good to see that there are really some great people still in this city. Not just her, but the construction workers that helped us, the other police officers that showed up to help us as well," he said.

About the Author

Anjuli Patil

Reporter

Anjuli Patil is a reporter and occasional video journalist with CBC Nova Scotia's digital team.

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