Social distancing road rage incident in Sherbrooke

Record Staff

A Walmart employee from the Galeries Quatre Saisons location is in critical condition after being struck by a car driven by a man who was frustrated by social distancing measures when he tried to enter the store.
Sherbrooke police were called to the scene around 5 p.m. Saturday evening. Upon arrival, officers were told that a customer accompanied by his spouse wanted to enter the Walmart, but did not respect the store’s social distancing measures with respect to COVID-19. Only one customer at a time per vehicle is permitted to enter.
A security officer had to intervene and the two people left the business. The altercation continued in the parking lot. At one point, the frustrated customer drove his vehicle directly into the employee, dragging him on the hood for several metres. The driver performed a maneuver to knock the man down and he sustained very serious head injuries. The suspects fled, but police were able to track the couple to a Sherbrooke apartment later that evening.
The driver, a 25-year-old Sherbrooke man was arrested and questioned. He is facing charges of assault with a weapon (with a vehicle), aggravated assault and hit-and-run. He appeared in court by phone on Sunday, and was detained and scheduled to appear in person today. According to Sherbrooke police by press time the victim, a 35-year-old man, was fighting for his life. An investigation is underway by the SPS. The Sûreté du Québec is also collaborating on the case. Specialists were on sight to study the circumstances surrounding the incident.
SPS Director Danny McConnell published a statement following the event. “I appeal for calm to the people of Sherbrooke. I insist on the fact that the population must respect the agents and employees of businesses who are simply applying the social distancing measures imposed by the Quebec government to reduce the risks of contagion in public places and protect the health and safety of the Sherbrooke population. Non-compliance with the rules put in place by the merchants justifies the employees to deny access to the business to the offending citizens. A refusal to comply may constitute a municipal offence for which the police will be justified in intervening in support of merchants.”

Published in the Monday, April 6 edition of The Record.

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