Joseph Tobianski | The Flint JournalJames McGarry of Davison sits in his Mazda RX8
FLINT, Michigan — Jamie McGarry did what he thought was right when he confronted a man who illegally parked in a handicapped spot at Hurley Health and Fitness.
The gym says McGarry went too far though and revoked the 31-year-old Davison man’s membership.
“Pretty simply, I just feel that it was flat out wrong,” said McGarry, who has used a wheelchair since age 20 after being paralyzed during surgery. “It’s a wrong that needs to be righted. I simply can’t let it go. It’s more than just how it affects me. I was just sticking up for the rights of the entire disabled community.”
McGarry had just finished his workout at the facility on Feb. 25 and was pulling out of his parking spot when he saw the car — without a handicap sticker — pull into the handicap spot next to him.
According to McGarry, he told the 20-something man he wasn’t allowed to park there but the man brushed off the concern, saying he’d only be there a couple minutes.
After a bit more “discussion” and after hearing a few four-letter words, McGarry decided to take matters into his own hands.
He backed his car out of his spot and parked it behind the man’s car, trapping the vehicle in the handicapped spot. Then, McGarry got in his wheelchair, left his vehicle and called security.
Both McGarry and the other driver argued they were in the right to security and McGarry said he ended up leaving in frustration.
He later was notified his membership to Hurley Health and Fitness had been revoked because of the dispute.
Hurley Medical Center spokeswoman Ilene Cantor released a statement on the incident, which said McGarry’s actions were not justified.