Cops called after shirtless protesters crash Rob Ford presser

Shirtless protester heckles Mayor Rob Ford at presser on Eglinton Ave. Tuesday, July 8, 2014....

Shirtless protester heckles Mayor Rob Ford at presser on Eglinton Ave. Tuesday, July 8, 2014. (Michael Peake/QMI Agency)

Don Peat and Maryam Shah, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:26 PM ET

TORONTO ─ Mayor Rob Ford's sobriety coach was scolded by a Toronto Police officer for allegedly kicking a shirtless protester Tuesday.

The incident capped off a wild press conference by Ford where shirtless protesters showed up to heckle him.

Dan Jacobs, the mayor's chief of staff, called Toronto Police alleging he was assaulted when the protesters crashed the mayor's Tuesday morning press conference on Eglinton Ave. W.

John Furr ─ the shirtless protester ─ denies Jacobs claim. No charges have been laid.

Toronto Police spokesman Mark Pugash confirmed officers were told a "protester pushed the mayor's aide."

"The sobriety consultant kicked the protester in the knee," Pugash alleged.

A CityTV camera picked up audio of an officer scolding Ford's sobriety coach Bob Marier, who has been at Ford's side since the civic leader returned from rehab last week.

Pugash said the officer spoke to those involved and no one was interested in pursuing the matter any further.

The handful of protesters that greeted Ford were part of the "shirtless horde," a protest group formed after Joe Killoran ─ a Toronto teacher ─ confronted Ford at the East York Canada Day parade. Killoran was out for a jog without a shirt when he spotted Ford and demanded to know why he refused to answer questions about several controversies swirling around his mayoralty.

"Police were called once I was shoved and elbowed aside after asking a member of the public to please step on to the sidewalk to maintain safety and allow free flow of traffic," Jacobs said in an interview Tuesday.

Furr ─ the organizer of the "shirtless horde" protest ─ alleged Jacobs grabbed his shoulder when he stood behind the mayor and held up his sign that read: "You like being mayor? Then be accountable!"

"I stepped up beside him and he pushes his elbow into me and shoves me and he says I elbowed him," Furr said. "He bumps into me and says I elbowed him."

Furr, 52, was surprised Jacobs called the cops and accused him of "trying to stop me from having my right to free speech."

"He called 911 and they sent an officer over and the officer looked and then as he's watching, members of the mayor's campaign staff came up and kicked me in the leg," he said.

Ford shrugged off the protesters who shouted throughout his announcement.

"They can protest all they want, all I'm doing is saving taxpayers' money, keeping traffic flowing," Ford said.

Later in the day, Ford ignored questions about his sobriety coach.


Videos

Photos