NHS volunteer who drove ambulance to Ukraine gets spat on in McDonald’s car park over country’s flag


NHS volunteer who drove ambulance to Ukraine gets spat on in McDonald’s car park when man with Eastern European sees blue and yellow flag in his window

  • Brian Grove, 60, was spat on for displaying Ukraine’s blue and yellow flag sticker
  • Mr Grove has delivered aid to Ukraine six times during war, including ambulance
  • A ‘burly man’ with an Eastern European accent ‘took exception’ to the stickers
  • ‘I assume this gentleman was a Russian supporter and clearly prepared to use racially motivated violence here in Sittingbourne,’ he said

A NHS volunteer who drove an ambulance to Ukraine said he was spat on for displaying the country’s blue and yellow flag in his car window.

Brian Grove, 60, was at a McDonald’s in Sittingbourne, Kent, when he said a ‘burly man’ with an Eastern European accent ‘took exception’ to the stickers.

Since the Russian invasion began in February, he as delivered aid to Ukraine six times, including delivering an ambulance.    

He said the man spat at him after Mr Grove had nearly bumped into his car while pulling into a parking space at the fast-food restaurant.

The motorist got out to check for damage and flew into a rage when he saw the Ukraine flag stickers in the window of Mr Grove’s Nissan Micra.

Brian Grove, 60, was at a McDonald's in Sittingbourne, Kent, when he said a 'burly man' with an Eastern European accent 'took exception' to the Ukraine flag stickers

Brian Grove, 60, was at a McDonald’s in Sittingbourne, Kent, when he said a ‘burly man’ with an Eastern European accent ‘took exception’ to the Ukraine flag stickers

Mr Grove said: ‘He attempted to attack me. Luckily, I was still in the car and able to lock it in time.

‘So he just spat on me through the gap at the top of the window while yelling a list of expletives all with the word Ukraine.

‘Sadly, it wasn’t caught on any of McDonald’s security cameras.’

Mr Grove is appealing for any witnesses or drivers with dashcam footage that may have captured the incident which happened on Sunday afternoon.

He added: ‘I assume this gentleman was a Russian supporter and clearly prepared to use racially motivated violence here in Sittingbourne.

Mr Grove said he was spat on for displaying the country's blue and yellow flag in his car window (pictured)

Mr Grove said he was spat on for displaying the country’s blue and yellow flag in his car window (pictured)

'So he just spat on me through the gap at the top of the window while yelling a list of expletives all with the word Ukraine,' Mr Grove said. Pictured, his car with pro-Ukraine stickers

‘So he just spat on me through the gap at the top of the window while yelling a list of expletives all with the word Ukraine,’ Mr Grove said. Pictured, his car with pro-Ukraine stickers

‘But I must stress that not all Russians are like this. In fact, the person who first asked me to help the Ukrainians was a Russian girl.’

Mr Grove has been on six aid missions to Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion on February 24.

On his first trip he helped deliver an ambulance and some supplies as part of a convoy. 

‘The sight of thousands of mostly young women with small children, queueing for hours in the bitterly cold evening, as the many tents simply could not meet the need, is something I would prefer to un-see,’ he said.

‘The sound of the children crying with the cold as their mothers tried to shield them and helpers tried to help with food, hot drinks and blankets, is something which will live with me for a long time.’

Mr Grove has been on six aid missions to Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion on February 24. On his first trip he helped deliver an ambulance and some supplies as part of a convoy (pictured)

Mr Grove has been on six aid missions to Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion on February 24. On his first trip he helped deliver an ambulance and some supplies as part of a convoy (pictured)

He said of the spitting man: ‘He was totally distraught and started waving his fist in the air. I felt threatened until I had made sure all the doors were locked.

‘To be honest, when you have seen the horrors going on in Ukraine and had to dodge bandits with automatic weapons, one man waving his fist isn’t that bad.’

He added: ‘A few weeks ago another man tried to rip a Ukrainian flag from the car I was driving at the time.’

Mr Grove, a law graduate now retired on medical grounds, volunteered at a Covid vaccination centre in his town and helped serve meals at Faversham Cottage Hospital during the first wave of the pandemic.

He also worked as an animal rescuer in Argentina between 2003 and 2012.

In April he became a governor for the Kent Community Health NHS Trust, representing Swale. 

Source

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