Wounded soldier says he was kicked out of mall for using Segway

Wounded soldier says he was kicked out of mall for using Segway

Posted:
Trost was riding his Segway, a device that keeps his leg from hurting, through Foothills Mall. Trost was riding his Segway, a device that keeps his leg from hurting, through Foothills Mall.
On Thursday, he was at the Maryville mall, searching for a pair of jeans. On Thursday, he was at the Maryville mall, searching for a pair of jeans.

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

MARYVILLE (WATE) – An injured war hero says he was unfairly kicked out of Foothills Mall in Maryville. Master Sgt. Michael Trost is unable to walk for extended periods after suffering four gunshot wounds while serving in Afghanistan.

Trost was riding his Segway, a device that keeps his leg from hurting, through Foothills Mall.

That's when a security guard told him to leave.

We covered Sgt. Trost's grand homecoming last spring. The whole community even came together on a construction project, to make his life comfortable, after he spent months in the hospital.

Several surgeries later, he has chronic nerve pain in his legs, and uses a Segway that was given to him through a program that helps out wounded vets.

"If I walk long distances my leg will start hurting. My sciatic nerve was severed, and I can't go long distances. I need to take a break," said Sgt. Trost, showing us the device, and explaining why he needs it.

On Thursday, he was at the Maryville mall, searching for a pair of jeans.

"A security guard approached me and said I was going to have to take out the Segway. I told him it was an ADA, or a handicap piece of equipment. I had the handicap sticker on it. He goes, not in this mall," described Sgt. Trost.

According to the mall, their policy does "permit the use of battery powered scooters and segways inside the shopping center by people with disabilities. They must be operated in a safe manner."

Trost says he was operating in a safe manner. But after some back and forth, the mall security guard told him he was speeding.

The mall says this was about "the safety and well-being of our shoppers."

"I'm close to 50 now. I have no reason to be disruptive. In fact, in a few days, I'm going back up to Bethesda for surgery so the last thing I want to be is disruptive," Sgt. Trost said.

Sgt. Trost says, to him, this is not about a wounded warrior being treated unfairly. It's about any disabled person being treated unfairly.

"This is not about me. This is about other people who also have ADA equipment," Sgt. Trost said.

The Blount County Veterans Affairs office plans to investigate this incident on Monday.

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