Sherbrooke Canada April 8 2020
More than $150,000 had been raised by Monday night for the family of a security guard who was critically injured Saturday after he was struck by a car in the parking lot of a Walmart store in Sherbrooke.
The main fundraiser, held on tiing.com, had raised $140,000 on Monday. A separate Facebook fundraiser had raised more than $16,000 of its $28,605 goal.
Quebec Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault said on Twitter that she felt for the guard’s family and called upon Quebecers to stay calm and respect physical distancing requirements.
Phillipe Jean, a 35-year-old father of five children, was fighting for his life in a hospital.
Sherbrooke police said the man was struck by a car around 5 p.m. after he refused entry to the store to a customer and his wife because of physical distancing regulations that allow only one person per vehicle access to the establishment.
The two people left. However, a dispute later in the parking lot saw the guard struck by a car, dragged for several metres and then thrown from the hood of the vehicle.
The guard suffered serious head injuries in the attack.
The two people in the car fled but were later found by police in a residence in Sherbrooke.
Nacime Kouddar, 25, was formally charged Monday with criminal negligence causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon, aggravated assault and failure to stop after an accident. Kouddar is scheduled to return to court Tuesday, when a date will be set for the next steps in the case.
The incident has sparked calls from the Quebec union representing private security guards that their members be considered front-line workers and be compensated accordingly.
The pandemic has seen guards deployed in grocery stories, hospitals, pharmacies, seniors residences, hardware stores and SAQ outlets.
Dominic Lemieux, Quebec director of the syndicat des Métallos, which represents 15,000 security guards, said the membership should be compensated with a risk bonus given the broadened requirements of their jobs.
Lemieux argued the guards are on the front line and have no idea who they might be dealing with. They can called upon to enforce the distancing protocols — which are not always popular — and sometimes physically intervene with those who are not respecting the regulations.
The minimum salary of a security guard is $18.04 an hour, Lemieux said.