SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — A Montreal taxi driver faces four charges in connection with a disturbing altercation that was captured on video and resulted in a 23-year-old man being run over by a cab.
Guercy Edmond is accused of assault with a weapon, aggravated assault, dangerous driving and hit-and-run.
His alleged victim, Benoit Kapelli, is recovering in hospital after he was struck by a cab and then driven over.
The incident happened at around 2 a.m. Sunday in the Plateau district.
The video, filmed by a witness from across the street, shows an altercation between the driver and several other people that quickly escalates and ends with the cab rolling over one of the men.
Investigators are still trying to determine exactly what started the argument, but said it appeared to take place after the driver told several members of the group to get out of the cab.
“We got numerous testimony from witnesses telling us different points of view,” said Const. Daniel Lacoursière.
“Exactly what was the object of the conflict, that remains to be seen. When it’s found by the investigators, it will be brought to court as proof.”
A 42-year-old man was also arrested in connection with “mischief to the car,” Lacoursière said.
He was released on a promise to appear in court at a later date.
Jonathan Himsworth was on his way home from work at about 2 a.m. when he heard a car door slam and saw the beginnings of the altercation brewing. He went up to his apartment and started filming the scuffle.
"I think it was just an overreaction from the door being slammed so hard – it was slammed very hard," he told CBC on Monday.
He said he started filming because he was worried about the safety of the cab driver, who was now at the centre of a group of screaming people.
"It looked like the mob was going to take over," he said.
Himsworth uploaded the video to YouTube and, by Monday morning, it had more than 86,000 views.
On the video, Himsworth can be heard yelling, "I told you guys to get out of there! Anyway, it's all on tape!"
Before the cab hit the man, people on the video can be seen throwing objects and shouting in the direction of the vehicle.
The cab turns around, barely missing some of the people standing in the roadway.
As the cab turns again in the intersection, one man jumps on top of the vehicle and continues jumping until the driver starts moving again.
The driver then accelerates and one man falls under the cab, which then runs him over.
The taxi continues driving, disappearing down the street.
Edmond 'in shock,' lawyer says
The prosecutor in the case has objected to bail for Edmond, so the cab driver will remain behind bars pending a bail hearing set for Wednesday morning.
Edmond's lawyer, Yves Vaillancourt, said his client is in shock and surprised at being charged.
"For him, he was under attack," Vaillancourt said. "That was the only thing he told me: 'I was under attack.'"