WINNIPEG, MB –
A Portage la Prairie hockey dad was planning on picking up a pair of shoes at the mall during a break in a weekend tournament but he left with a misconduct and an ejection.
Steve Sapinski, entered the Foot Locker in Polo Park searching for a new pair of running shoes when he found trouble. Within seconds of looking around the store he found a display of New Balance shoes at “buy one pair, get the second at 50% off.” Sapinski made a move for the discount section when another male shopper stepped in his way.
“This goof comes out of the track suit section and shoots me an elbow then proceeds to interfere with my drive to the shoes,” Sapinski recalled. “It was a blatant infraction. It was black and white elbowing and interference. Everyone in store could see it!”
The irate Sapinski gave the perpetrator a shove and glared at a store employee wearing a referee-styled shirt.
“There was no whistle and he didn’t have his arm up,” Sapinski said. “He was looking right at me. He had the nerve to tell me to be careful and stop pushing. That’s when I lost it!”
Sapinski was in an agitated state from watching his son play hockey all weekend and from having to go to the mall on a Saturday when his frustration boiled over.
He screamed in the employee’s face, shoved him, and then starting yelling abuse at the other employees wearing ref uniforms.
“It was worse than three blind mice out there,” Sapinski shared. “That place has refs every three feet and they still can’t get a friggin call right. That guy clearly blocked me from getting the shoes I wanted. He gets the discount and I end up in the box. How’s that fair?”
Store employees surrounded Sapinski until mall security guards arrived to escort him out of the store into the arms of police who took him into custody.
“I told them to check their cell phones ’cause they have a bunch of missed calls. Then I said I thought only horses slept standing up,” Sapinski said.
While being physically removed from the store Sapinski was heard screaming, “You better be careful because you’re probably pregnant after missing three periods.” As he exited the store he fired one last barb. “Why don’t you get off your knees, you’re blowing the game.”
The Portage man is now facing charges of aggravated assault and a season long suspension from Foot Locker and the Polo Park Mall. He waved his right to an in-person hearing and is now looking for shoes in Portage la Prairie.
“That’s the last time I shop at a store with a bunch of refs,” Sapinski offered. “I’ll stay in Portage where shoes sales people don’t dress like blind zebras.”
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