'This is not your country': Woman describes violent attack by guard at Longueuil mall
MONTREAL -- A security guard’s alleged attack on a customer at a South Shore mall was serious enough that he appears to have lost his job.
But it wasn’t serious enough for the woman who was attacked, in front of her children, to get any answers from police, she says.
Masabatha Kakandjika says that in addition to being physically tackled and held down by the neck, the man said something to her that left its own mark.
“He said to me, ‘Look around, ma'am, this is not your country,’” she says.
She was at Place Desormeaux in Longueuil in mid-June when the incident happened.
She was in line to drop off a cheque at a government office in the mall, and the security guard disputed which line she should be standing in.
She told him her four children, ages 3 to 11, were waiting for her in the car outside. That was when he became physical with her, she said, in an alarmingly violent way.
“He grabbed me by my neck to pin me down. I started screaming because I couldn't breathe—I told him ‘I can't breathe,’” she said.
“I was fighting and he hit my head on the wall or the glass door. I started screaming, ‘I can't breathe, somebody help.’”
The two spilled into the parking lot, where Kakandjika says her eldest child saw what was happening and got out of the car to help. At that moment, though, two bystanders pulled the guard off of her, she says.
Her 11-year-old son says he continued to stand guard.
“I stood between my mother and him, and my mother phoned 911,” said Marc-Andy Kakandjika.
When police arrived, they put the guard in the cruiser, his mother said. But he was eventually let go.
The Centre for Research Action on Race Relations is helping her try to get answers now.
“Police said that he would be charged with assault but after that, June 10th, [she] never heard from them,” said Fo Niemi, the centre’s director.
Niemi says he believes the man’s actions were racially motivated based on what he said to her, that “this is not your country.”
The guard did face consequences. The security company that hired him told CTV News he was, in their words “relieved of his duties.” They wouldn’t specify if he was fired outright or moved to a different position.
Kakandjika wants police to press charges. The only response from police, however, has led to even more questions.
Longueuil police confirm they were called to the scene, but they wouldn’t tell CTV whether the guard may still be charged.
The investigation is being forwarded to the prosecutors office.