Doug Burns, Maced?
A few months ago, I had a very nasty low blood sugar at the movie theater. Robbed of my ability to comprehend and stumbling like I was intoxicated, I wandered out to the snack counter and tried to purchase a juice from the concession counter. The refused to serve me because they had "already closed down for the night." An argument ensued and I ended up screaming at the manager until they provided me with juice - which of course I paid for.
If I was a strong, athletic looking man with a deep voice and bulging biceps, instead of a young woman, barely 5'3" and speaking in a higher-pitched voice, would I have been arrested? Would management have called the police on me instead of rolling their eyes at my protests and reluctantly providing me with juice?
Ask Doug Burns.
He was wrestled and maced outside of a downtown movie theater in Redwood City after police thought he was intoxicated, watching him stumble to the snack counter to ask for juice to treat his reaction.
According to an article by Michelle Durand of The Daily Journal, "The security guard told police that Burns was wobbly and unstable on his feet and wouldn't reply to his questions. Thinking Burns was intoxicated, the guard walked him outside and told him to leave. When Burns didn't, he called police to report his loitering."
"I could understand if I was belligerent or had track marks but I was nicely dressed and I don't think I fit the profile or smelled like alcohol," said Burns, according to the article.
The Daily Journal went on to further state that "Burns believes the situation was based on complete ignorance of his condition and diabetes as a whole."
I've been asked by police officers if I am drunk, when in fact I was low. I've experienced my own altercations at movie theaters and gyms and grocery stores. I've fought off paramedics and spoken completely out of turn, due to a low blood sugar. While I know I am responsible for maintaining my own condition and while I do my best to be prepared for any diabetes-related situation, things happen. We are responsible for ourselves, but this is another example of how ignorance about diabetes can put lives in dangerous situations. Sometimes we need the kindness and the help of strangers.
Not to be maced.