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Police allege Rob Ford's sobriety coach kicked protester at event

Protesters call for Mayor Rob Ford to resign as he tries to speak at a news conference at Eglinton Avenue and Westover Hill Road on July 8, 2014. 680News/Carl Hanstke

A man identified as Rob Ford’s sobriety coach was scolded by police Tuesday morning for allegedly kicking a protester at an event.

“If you want me to help you out, you can’t be kicking him,” said a police officer to Bob Marier, the mayor’s sobriety coach, who has been with Ford since he left rehab late last month.

“I saw you kick him. I saw it happen,” the officer can be heard saying off-camera.

Protester John Furr can be heard saying “Don’t shove me.”

No charges were laid.

Police were called in to monitor the crowd gathered at Ford’s morning news conference.

Ford was addressing a proposal to turn a 19-kilometre stretch of Eglinton into a Grand Boulevard, once the Crosstown LRT is complete ahead of Tuesday’s city council meeting.

But he was drowned out by protesters hurling questions and shouting “resign!” repeatedly.

The mayor plowed on and delivered his message, a strong opposition to the proposal.

“They can protest all they want. All I’m doing is saving taxpayers money and keeping the traffic moving,” Ford said.

Furr, who organized the protest via Twitter, said the message of the group is that “average Torontonians are fed up.”

“We have to stop the narrative of the Fords that wherever he goes he’s treated like a rock star,” Furr, 52, said. “He’s not. Most people avoid him like the plague.”

With files from Canadian Press

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that Ford’s director of communications Jeff Silverstein was alleged to have kicked the protester. However, a member of Ford’s staff later told CityNews it was not Silverstein but Marier whom the police officer was addressing.