Investigations are underway.
Tensions have been running high in Quebec as the province contends with the latest COVID-19 wave. And at an SAQ on Thursday, it apparently came to blows.
"At 6:00 p.m., there was a 9-1-1 call made for a conflict between a customer and an employee in a store location on Pie-IX Boulevard," said Caroline Chevrefils, a spokesperson representing the Montreal police.
According to the police report, an argument began between a 39-year-old employee and a 57-year-old customer "about the sanitary measures" in the SAQ location. CTV reported that the employee working at the cash register was allegedly not wearing a mask.
The customer, who CTV identified as Mario Gosselin, told the outlet that he felt uncomfortable being served by the as-yet-unidentified employee and asked for a different cashier. Management was called over the phone, and Gosselin was reportedly informed that the SAQ was not required to serve him. Gosselin told CTV that he slammed the phone down in frustration, leading to the physical altercation between the two men.
“I thought he was killing me," Gosselin told CTV reporters. According to Chevrefils, the two men didn't need any medical assistance.
The SPVM spokesperson confirmed that the next day, January 14, the customer went to a police station to press charges.
"The investigation is ongoing," Chevrefils added. The SEMB-SAQ, the SAQ's union, confirmed that an internal investigation is also underway.
The SAQ told MTL Blog that the employee has been suspended pending its own investigation.
"There is no tolerance for any act of violence, whether it be from an employee towards a customer or from a customer towards one of our employees," a spokesperson said.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.