Taxi drivers show their support for a cabbie who ran over a 23 year old man following an altercation late Saturday, April 28.
Credits: SYLVAIN DENIS / QMI AGENCY
Guercy Edmond, a 47-year-old father and husband, was ordered to stay away from the three young men involved in the Sunday night altercation.
One is a 23-year-old man who was run over and critically injured as cell-phone cameras rolled. The video has been posted online.
A police sergeant, citing eyewitness reports, told the court that the three men were drunk and making racial comments while riding in the cab.
The officer said the clients began talking about voodoo and female circumcision before one of them punched Edmond in the chest.
They jumped out of the taxi and Edmond went after them with a bottle and an ice scraper, say witnesses, before he got back into the car.
The group gathered around the cab, with some people hitting the car and one man getting on the roof and jumping up and down.
The YouTube video shows the taxi running over one man, Benoit Kapelli, as it drives away from the group.
The officer testified that Edmond met some police officers down the street and cried out, "They'll kill me! They'll kill me!"
About 100 cabbies jumped to Edmond's defence during the bail hearing on Wednesday, using their taxis to block a major street near the Montreal courthouse.
Cabbie Stephane Exentus said he felt bad about the injured man, but he added that Edmond had no choice but to protect himself.
"That's what it takes to make people understand that we work hard for a living and they should not go after us," he said. "If the driver had remained at the scene, we might be at his funeral instead of being here."
Defence lawyer Yves Vaillancourt, suggested his client ran over Kapelli because he didn't see him.
"I'm not sure that he saw the person that was on his left side because his attention was on his right side with the guy that was jumping on the roof," the lawyer told reporters.
"He was trying to dial 911 and at the same time he was trying to (avoid) the people that were blocking the way in front of him. He was very, very nervous."
The Crown was unable to present the video that's now been seen by viewers around the world, much to the chagrin of Judge Jean-Pierre Boyer.
Edmond is charged with aggravated assault, hit and run causing injury and dangerous driving causing bodily harm. He's also charged with assault with a weapon, namely his car.
The young man who was injured could also face charges.