“They don’t know if their father will return”: family of security guard struggles after hit and run hit

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Philippe Jean had just started working as a security guard a few days before being knocked down in a Walmart parking lot on Saturday, the vehicle was allegedly driven by a man angry at the restrictions on the purchase of COVID-19.

While Jean, 35, is in hospital in critical condition, his family is still trying to understand what happened.

” It’s incomprehensible. I don’t understand, ”Jean’s brother Guillaume Jean told Radio-Canada on Monday.

“He found a job to support his family last Wednesday. Saturday I found myself cleaning up [blood off] the sidewalk because someone has lost his mind. ”

Philippe Jean was hired as a security guard at Walmart in Sherbrooke, Quebec, to enforce the regulations that the store had put in place to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

On Saturday evening, a 25-year-old man allegedly had an argument with Jean after being informed that he could not enter the store with his partner because the store only allowed one person per vehicle to enter.

The suspect became frustrated and then returned to the store, knocking over Jean just moments before completing his shift.

“My brother has five children at home, and they don’t know if their father will ever come back. This is not normal, “said Guillaume Jean. “In a moment of madness, a father could lose his life, just because someone could not enter the store with his girlfriend? “

Guillaume Jean had to close his own business because of COVID-19 and understands that people can be frustrated, but he urges people to be compassionate towards others who do essential work.

“I do not understand, as an individual, how you can have an IQ so low that you cannot cooperate with the ground rules that will only help us out of this crisis,” he said. .

In a statement to CBC News, Walmart said it has recently implemented several other new measures to keep customers and employees safe.

“The safety of our associates, subcontractors and customers is a top priority at Walmart. We were very saddened to hear of this incident, “said the statement.

“We have introduced new social distancing protocols to protect associates and clients, and we strongly encourage all Canadians to join them. “

Limiting the number of customers in the store at the same time and using floor markings to ensure they keep a physical distance from each other are among these measures, said Walmart. He did not specify whether only one person per vehicle is allowed to enter the store.

Suspect appears in court

The 25-year-old suspect appeared by videoconference in a Sherbrooke courtroom Monday afternoon. There, he was charged with aggravated assault, leaving the scene of an accident, negligence causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon causing bodily harm.

Philippe Jean was still in critical condition on Monday evening, but according to his brother, he has started breathing on his own and reacts by hearing his wife’s voice.

Solidarity messages poured in for Jean on social networks, with more than $ 80,000 raised for the family on a crowdfunding page.

Philippe Jean remains in critical condition at the hospital after being struck by a vehicle here on Saturday. (Annick Sauvé / Radio-Canada)

But while Jean’s family appreciates public support, they want nothing more than to see him again.

“What we want is for my brother to recover. Yes, there are signs of hope, but we have to keep thinking of him, thinking of his family, “said his brother.

Security guards authorized by the hundreds

Michel Juneau-Katsuya, executive vice president of Titan Security, the group that hired Jean, said the incident was rare.

“Ninety-nine percent of the time is going very, very well. Everyone is cooperating. Everyone understands, “Juneau-Katsuya told CBC News.

“Sometimes some guards reported a heated argument or argument – sometimes with frustrated individuals. “

He said the company is trying to help Jean’s family and will continue to pay his full salary until social or medical assistance is available to him.

“We have to take care of our employees,” said Juneau-Katsuya.

He said all security guards at the company have been ordered to remain calm and professional at all times. If they find themselves in a situation where they feel uncomfortable or in danger, they are encouraged to call the police or their supervisor.

“They have to understand that this period of time is emotional for many people. There is a lot of frustration; there is a lot of anger; there is a lot of insecurity, “he said.

Jean is one of hundreds of people who have been hired under a temporary security guard license, especially to control the crowds during this pandemic.

In a statement to CBC News, the Quebec public security office said it had issued 521 temporary child care permits since March 30.

They are valid for up to 120 days, and applicants are only required to pass a provincial police background check. There is no training or testing requirement to obtain a temporary license.

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