Robbery Suspect Used Pepper Spray to Flee
April 15 – Laval police are asking for the public’s help to identify a female suspect involved in a robbery and assault that occurred at a Dollarama in Ste-Dorothée last fall.
The suspect entered the store at about 1:30 p.m. on October 10, and made her way through the aisles sneaking several items into her bag before heading for the exit.
A security guard intercepted her as she tried to leave, but the suspect pepper-sprayed him in the face and then hit him several times. A female witness was also pepper-sprayed when she tried to intervene.
The suspect fled the scene by car.
Police describe the suspect as a white female in her 20s who speaks with an Arabic accent. She stands about 5’5” tall, weighs about 135 pounds and has several face piercings.
At the time of the incident, the suspect had auburn hair and she was wearing a black coat, dark-coloured pants, and black-and-white shoes.
Anyone with information on the identity or location of the suspect is urged to call 450-662-INFO (4636), or 911, and mention file LVL 181010 051. Calls are treated confidentially.
April Ice-Storm Tally
April 12 – Laval was among the regions hardest hit by last week’s ice-storm which left hundreds of thousands of Quebec residents with no power for several days.
Local authorities were quick to react and respond.
Two emergency shelters were opened in Laval for those who needed to get out of their cold homes and sleep somewhere warm and safe, and to accommodate those simply seeking a place to charge phones and electronic devices.
Laval firefighters and police officers reminded the public that people need to be prudent during weather events.
Firefighters rescued several people who had fallen ill due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
During the first two days of the storm, four adults and five children were taken to hospital in three separate incidents. Two of the incidents involved people who were using barbecues indoors, while in the third a man had a generator very close to his house and was overcome by the exhaust.
People also accidentally set 17 fires in Laval, often by knocking over candles.
Laval police spokesperson Evelyne Boudreau said many people were calling 9-1-1 to ask for help with health issues and with flooding.
“Firefighters were going door-to-door to say that carbon monoxide detectors have to be checked. Fire detectors also,” said Boudreau, adding that people with known health issues were also being checked on.
While proving extremely inconvenient for everyone on the island (except school-aged kids who enjoyed having the schools closed) the ice-storm did not cause any fatalities.
Hydro-Quebec, with the help of Hydro-Sherbrooke and crews from Vermont, had re-established power to nearly everyone by Thursday evening.
Laval Police Accused of Using Excessive Force on Minor
April 8 – A 16-year-old girl who was arrested recently by Laval police has accused the officers of using excessive force during her arrest, and breaking her nose in the process.
Photos of the girl and her injuries started circulating on social media after the incident, which took place on March 24. The images also include pictures of a blood smear on a Laval police cruiser’s hood.
The girl, whose name can’t be published because she is a minor, spoke out about her experience alongside her mother at a news conference organized by the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations.
The incident occurred as police officers arrived at the scene of a complaint they had received.
According to the teen, an officer grabbed her by the arm and as she tried to pull away, she found herself face down on the asphalt. She was then handcuffed and her head was placed on the hood of the police cruiser. She alleged that she was punched twice in the head and then fitted with a spit guard. Her mouth was full of blood and she had to struggle to breathe without choking.
She claimed that one of the officers told her it was her own fault that her nose was broken.
Laval police offer a different version of events.
Responding to a call from a witness who reported seeing someone breaking the side mirrors of cars parked on a street near a party, officers attempted to arrest the young woman as part of their investigation.
According to Evelyne Boudreau, a spokesperson for the Laval police, when the officer tried to put the handcuffs on the teen, she fell to the ground and hit her face.
After the incident garnered attention on social media, the arresting officers’ conduct was reviewed by their supervisors, Boudreau added. The supervisors determined that the officers had done nothing wrong.
The girl was issued two tickets on the night she was handcuffed: one for public drunkenness, and the other for assaulting a police officer.
She may face further criminal charges, including obstruction of justice and mischief related to property damage.