Canadian police arrested two people after an illegal New Year’s Eve party violated Quebec’s Covid-19 lockdown protocols.
One man is expected to face charges of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest, Gatineau police spokesperson Mariane Leduc said Sunday.
A woman was also arrested for refusing to identify herself, but she was released as soon as she complied, Leduc said. Police said it’s possible the woman could face charges.
Two officers responded to a house in Gatineau on Thursday night at around 11:30 p.m. after receiving a complaint about a party, Leduc said.
She said two women answered the door and refused to cooperate with officers. They failed to present their IDs when asked by officers, which can lead to being charged with a crime, Leduc said.
There were six adults and one child in the house at the time, but Quebec’s current Covid-19 restrictions prohibit such gatherings. Leduc said a person who lives alone is allowed to join another family or, at most, receive one family for the holidays.
A video taken by someone else in the house was posted to Twitter Friday and shows officers in a confrontation with a man in the doorway. Yelling can be heard in the background.
Another male who was inside the house can be seen trying to hold the man back from being taken outside.
Later in the video, officers are seen physically restraining the man outside the home as backup officers arrive and continue speaking with some women inside the home.
Gatineau Police tweeted Saturday that the video only shows part of the incident where a man was extracted from the house and that “the individuals were recalcitrant and refused to cooperate.” Police said the person arrested in the video had assaulted a police officer, hitting him in the face a few times.
CNN news partner CBC reported Saturday that the video was posted by Mathieu Tessier, the man who was arrested. Tessier told CBC that he believes police used excessive force. He denies that he assaulted an officer.
Tessier acknowledged to CBC that they took a risk by holding a holiday gathering, but believed that if authorities were called, they would have only received a warning and a polite request to break up the party. “The police cannot do what they did to us. They treat us like animals, like criminals,” Tessier said.
Leduc said six adults were each fined $1,000 Canadian dollars, plus $546 Canadian dollars in fees, for violating a public health law.
She said the man who was arrested allegedly “charged” at officers and tried to pull one of the officers inside the home.
Nobody was hurt in the altercation, and everyone was released at the scene after they calmed down, Leduc said.