A Walmart security guard from southern Quebec was fighting for his life on Sunday morning after being struck and dragged by a driver who was allegedly enraged by social distancing policies aimed to curb the spread of COVID-19, local police said.
Police in Sherbrooke, about 150 kilometres east of Montreal, said the incident occurred at about 5 p.m. Saturday when the suspect tried to enter the Walmart with his partner, only to be told just one person per vehicle was allowed inside at once.
Police spokesman Martin Carrier said the suspect allegedly became frustrated after leaving the store, leading to an altercation in the parking lot.
“At a certain moment, the frustrated client ran directly into the employee with his vehicle, even dragging him on the hood for several metres,” Carrier said.
The 35-year-old guard suffered a serious head injury during the incident and remained in critical condition on Sunday morning.
The couple left the scene but were later arrested at a nearby residence.
The 25-year-old suspect was expected to face charges of armed assault with a vehicle, aggravated assault and hit-and-run.
Police said in a news release that he was expected to appear in court via telephone on Sunday afternoon, and remain in custody until a formal court appearance on Monday.
In his Sunday news conference, Quebec Premier Francois Legault described the incident as “unacceptable,” but appeared to chalk it up to an isolated incident.
“Unfortunately, you have a few crazy people in our society, but I (haven’t) heard it’s happening much,” he said.