A Saint-Laurent, Que., resident is speaking out after an alleged pepper spray attack that he says left him stunned.
Omer Cheema says he is sharing his experience because he wants people to be aware.
Cheema says he was walking back to his home from the gym last Friday when he noticed two people in their 20s, a man and a woman, were acting strange.
He says at first he didn’t make much of it — that’s until they split in different directions.
“The girl actually walked across the road, behind a big SUV car and right in front of me. She looked back at the guy as some sort of confirmation,” Cheema said.
“When she was probably a feet or two away from me, she sprayed my neck.”
According to Cheema, the incident happened near the corner of Thompson and Deguire streets at around 9 p.m.
Cheema says he was walking alone and he was looking down at his phone. He was recovering from a bike accident and one of his arms was injured.
“I think when they first passed by me, they saw an opportunity of a person who is injured,” Cheema speculated.
When he realized what happened, he says he collected himself and went home.
“I was in shock. I had my phone in my hand but I couldn’t really think at that time,” Cheema said.
When he got home, Cheema says his neck started burning.
He says he decided to call police a few days later because he doesn’t want this to happen to anyone else.
He says police told him it could be a gang initiation rite so he’s filed a police report.
“There needs to be some record of it so that if something happens in the future, at least people will know and so that it’s a bit more safe for people living here,” Cheema said.
“Even though it’s a very safe neighbourhood, we don’t want things to go south here, especially with families with kids.”
Montreal police say they can’t comment of specific cases. However, SPVM spokesperson Gabriella Youakim told Global news they recommend people who are victims of an assault to call 911 as soon as possible so investigators have a better chance to find the suspects.