The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Man with no arms still wants apology from cop who he says was inconsiderate

  • Print

All Steve Simonar wants is an apology.

The man with no arms firmly believes having a Saskatoon police officer say sorry for how he treated Simonar will be a step forward for other disabled people doing their utmost to lead regular lives.

Simonar made headlines across the country earlier this year when he complained about getting his first ticket for not wearing a seatbelt — he can't physically buckle up but has been driving in customized vehicles for years.

The fine resulting from his ticket was withdrawn in court after the province gave him a medical exemption allowing him to drive without a belt, but Simonar still held out for an apology from the officer who he says spoke to him in a way he's never experienced before, particularly by someone in public service.

"That's the only thing that I ever wanted. The ticket, whatever, that was minor details, but this apology, that's still what I want. And it will be a happy day if that ever happens," the 56-year-old said in an interview.

For Simonar, the situation is about much more than his individual case.

"I can take care of myself," he said. "But there's other people that never get a voice."

Simonar lost his arms after he was electrocuted in a boating accident in 1985. He learned to drive with his feet, using his left foot to turn a small steering wheel near the floor and his right foot to work the gas and brake pedals. He also uses his feet to open the door and turn the key.

He's been pulled over by police in the past but never got a seatbelt ticket until the officer he encountered in April brusquely told him if he couldn't wear a seatbelt, he shouldn't be driving.

Police later explained that Simonar didn't have a medical exemption note so he had to be ticketed, but Simonar said it was the officer's attitude he was angry about.

"People shouldn't be able to get away with that. When you're a public employee you should be even more respectful, more aware of the implications of your actions," said Simonar, who remembers being "just furious."

"I'd sucked it up for 25 years. So, it's time that it had got straightened out."

Simonar eventually sat down with the officer who gave him the ticket and a superior, but he said the interaction didn't go so well. The officer, he said, remained offensive, giving Simonar all the more reason to push for an acknowledgment that the cop should have more sensitivity toward those with disabilities.

"I'm over the fact of not having arms — well some days I am and some days I'm not, whatever life goes on," he said. "At the end of the day if I can help anybody out, I'll do it."

Simonar has since filed a formal complaint with the Saskatchewan Public Complaints Commission and is waiting to see what comes out of his efforts.

"I kinda thought it would have been done by now," he said of the entire episode. "I want an apology from him...I just feel that something should be done."

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


RMTC preview of Good People

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project. Baby peregrine falcons. 21 days old. Three baby falcons. Born on ledge on roof of Radisson hotel on Portage Avenue. Project Coordinator Tracy Maconachie said that these are third generation falcons to call the hotel home. Maconachie banded the legs of the birds for future identification as seen on this adult bird swooping just metres above. June 16, 2004.
  • JOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-(Standup photo)- Humming Around- A female ruby -throated hummingbird fly's through the bee bomb  flowers Friday at the Assiniboine Park English Garden- Nectar from flowers are their main source of food. Hummingbirds wings can beat as fast as 75x times second. Better get a glimpse of them soon the birds fly far south for the winter - from Mexico to South America- JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- Sept 10, 2009

View More Gallery Photos


What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google