The emergency room doctor who treated ex-Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum found no visible swelling on the day he claimed a pro-RCMP activist drove over his left foot, Surrey Provincial Court heard on Nov. 8.
McCallum alleged that Keep the RCMP in Surrey’s Debi Johnstone ran over his foot in the Southpoint Save-On-Foods parking lot on Sept. 4, 2021 after she unleashed a barrage of profanity at him. Police instead accused McCallum of lying about the incident and he was charged with public mischief. McCallum pleaded not guilty when the trial began Oct. 31, but did not testify.
Judge Reginald Harris heard that emergency room staff determined McCallum had a contusion on his left foot and that he complained of tingling and mild, dull pain on the top of his foot. McCallum underwent an X-ray but no fracture was found. A doctor told him to take Tylenol, ice his foot and follow up with his family doctor.
Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Kevin Wing, an expert witness for the defence, said he saw nothing in McCallum’s file that was inconsistent with a mild, soft-tissue injury that could have been caused by a car running over a foot. He also suggested there could be a delayed reaction.
One of McCallum’s four lawyers switched gears and suggested another cause for McCallum’s injury.
“Have you observed similar soft tissue injuries arise in situations where, you know, the person’s foot is not actually contacted, but they’re reacting to a sudden stimuli like a car driving by quickly?” asked Eric Gottardi.
“The answer is, yes,” said foot and ankle specialist Wing. “I see people all the time who, in some kind of jerky motion twisting and turning, have relatively minor soft tissue injuries. But nonetheless, those soft tissue injuries are demonstrable and real with respect to discomfort, swelling.”
Sgt. Andre Johnny of the Surrey RCMP testified Nov. 1 that detectives could not determine whether the rear wheel on Johnstone’s Mustang convertible ever met McCallum’s foot, because a shrub blocked a surveillance camera’s view. The video evidence contradicted McCallum’s two other key claims that he had been pinned against a car and that Johnstone had sped away from the scene. McCallum casually walked away and later went shopping in the grocery store before complaining to the RCMP and visiting Peace Arch Hospital.
Wing admitted under cross-examination to Special Prosecutor Richard Fowler that he had not spoken with the physician who tended to McCallum. Wing confirmed that McCallum’s file said he had a history of high blood pressure and hypertension, which Fowler suggested could have contributed to swollen feet.
Meanwhile, the final witness called by McCallum’s lawyers was former Coun. Laurie Guerra.
Guerra, elected in 2018 with McCallum’s Safe Surrey Coalition, described how opposition to McCallum’s program to replace the RCMP with the Surrey Police Service escalated as the term progressed.
It began with emailed complaints from Keep the RCMP in Surrey founder Ivan Scott and progressed to activists speaking passionately at city council meetings, kiosks at community festivals and T-shirt wearing, placard-waving protesters.
Guerra said she asked RCMP to remove shouting protesters from one community festival in Fleetwood, but they refused. Guerra also alleged that Johnstone and another activist showed up at her house. She did not say when the incident occurred, only that her husband and her daughter were home at the time. She called it a “very different ballgame” from hearing yelling and swearing at the city council chamber.
“When they show up at your home, and you have to call the police and you ask the police ‘can I get a restraining order?’ and they say no, because they haven’t threatened your life and they haven’t done anything,” Guerra said.
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