A video involving three security guards and a man collecting cans from the garbage at Uptown Shopping Centre in Saanich has gone viral locally on Facebook.
The video was posted on Wednesday evening and portrays three people wearing the GuardTeck Security uniforms physically restraining and possibly injuring a man who had been collecting cans from the garbage.
Kristy Westendorp, the woman filming the incident, added that the guards began “restraining him by the back of his shirt to the point it was choking him” right after he grabbed a bag of recycled cans from the bin.
According to Westendorp, the man on the ground was bleeding from multiple places, and the video shows him crying and begging to be let go.
Police and social media respond
Sgt. Jereme Leslie of Saanich Police told Victoria Buzz that police arrived at Uptown Shopping Centre at about 5:15 p.m. on July 25th regarding this incident, and this video is in their possession as well.
“The matter is under investigation and, as part of the investigation, we’re attempting to determine exactly what occurred prior to this video starting,” said Leslie. No further information has been provided at this time.
The video has since been shared over 1,500 times on Facebook at the time of publication, and social media users have taken to the GuardTeck Security Corp Facebook page to lodge their complaints against the guards’ actions.
“My parents collected cans to feed me and we lived in a renovated school bus. They managed to work their way up to owning an oceanside acerage [sic] worth a million dollars and watch orcas and eagles every day in the summer,” writes Sooke Councillor Ebony Logins.
“If they had been treated like this, like the scum of the earth, when they had been collecting bottles, I doubt they would have had the confidence they needed to get my family where it is today. Plus, I wouldn’t have been able to eat dinner. GuardTeck needs to provide better training. This amount of force in his detainment was uncalled for and unacceptable.”
Here’s the video
WARNING: Violent content and language