Hero driver is honoured by City of Montreal after using his SUV to save pedestrians
Montreal native Erick Marciano was honored by the city in Montreal after using his SUV to shield pedestrians from a speeding car. Marciano acted with bravery in a split-second decision to use his SUV to shield pedestrians from a car fleeing from police that was heading directly towards a busy intersection.
Marciano, a 48-year-old father-of-three told CTV News that “I figured I had to act,” after he saw the vehicle speeding towards the defenseless pedestrians. His mind immediately went to the terrible stories in Europe of drivers running over pedestrians and he rushed to act to prevent the same thing from happening in Montreal.
Anti-Semitic depictions have been carved into the snow on several cars in the Plateau area of Montreal, Quebec. This incident took place on rue Jeanne Mance.
Photos of the markings appeared on Twitter, showing four cars that had the Nazi swastika marked onto the windshield and roofs of the cars alongside the Jewish Star of David.
Montreal has a thriving Jewish community with a recent census showing over 90,000 members of the community living in Quebec’s largest city. The Plateau area, in particular, was where the Jewish community first settled in the early 20th century.
Statistics by the Jewish advocacy group, B’nai Brith, have shown that anti-Semitism has been on the rise across Canada. In 2018, there were a reported 2,041 incidents of Anti-Semitism, which is a 16.5 percent increase from the previous year. Of these, 11 were deemed to have been violent.
A public art display in Montreal’s downtown core has drawn the ire of residents who believe the city’s spending is irresponsible.
According to Director Quebec of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation Renaud Brossard, that $800,000 figure “is as much as the property taxes of 192 Montreal families.”
The bridge, which is used commonly in the summer months to sit on as it’s placed in a city square, has gotten harsh criticism from those in the Western provinces, as many feel it’s a wasteful way to spend $800,000.
This, though, isn’t confined to Montreal. Edmonton, Alberta recently coughed up a hefty $1 million towards a public art display.
A Montreal man is being praised as a hero after his bold actions saved roughly a dozen people from being seriously injured, or worse.
Erick Marciano was driving his SUV to a meeting Tuesday afternoon in Montreal’s downtown core, when he saw a car speed through a red light, with Montreal police hot on the vehicle’s tail.
When he saw the suspect vehicle making a sharp U-turn in front of him toward a crowd of roughly a dozen pedestrian and city workers, Marciano says he knew he had to act.
“I didn’t want him to hurt anybody,” Marciano told CBC’s Daybreak. “I figured, sacrificing a car was really no big deal. And that’s what I did.”
Marciano then swerved his SUV over the divider, blocking the vehicle from being able to speed into the crowd of pedestrians. The only people injured was the suspect, and police are praising his actions as heroic.
Marciano said the intersection was ripe with pedestrians crossing the intersection headed into Montreal’s downtown CHUM mega-hospital, with many workers out on their lunch break.
“It came into my mind, I said: ‘this isn’t going to happen here,” he said.
Marciano says he knew the vehicle would be able to absorb the hit, not even considering his overall safety. “I figured, he had a Honda, and there was no way he was going over the median,” he said. “For me, that was the safest thing to do.”
On Facebook, Marciano posted a comment about a story, saying “I guess I am a nice guy if only my wife would believe it lol [sic]”
After the impact, police were able to arrest the 19-year-old suspect at the scene. He will appear in court on Wednesday afternoon, and has been charged with “numerous criminal offences,” including impaired driving, failing to stop for police, assault with a weapon, driving with a suspended licence, dangerous driving, and driving a stolen vehicle.
Marciano’s actions have been praised universally. From police, who thanked him for risking his life, to the mother of the suspect.
The suspect’s mother thanked Marciano for stopping her son from injuring people. She said her son has had a history of mental health issues, and that it shouldn’t take these kinds of incidents for the government to realize that mental health needs to be made a higher priority.
Police were also grateful. “They were very, very thankful. Very thankful. Too thankful—it was embarrassing,” Marciano said to the Montreal Gazette.
Montreal mayor Valerie Plante also tweeted her praise of the bold action, tweeting:
“I salute the courage of Erick Marciano, whose heroic gesture saved the lives of many pedestrians [of downtown Montreal.] On behalf of myself and the Montrealers, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, Mr. Marciano.”
(Translated by Google)
Though Marciano’s SUV was damaged in the collision, Marciano’s insurance company told him that we would not be held responsible for the wreck.
“What matters is the outcome, and everything’s well, and everybody could go home last night.”
Montrealers will officially be able to cover their faces with masks or bandanas during protests again, as the city moves forward with scrapping a bylaw prohibiting it.
The bylaw, which was originally put in place 50 years ago as a measure to force demonstrators at protests throughout the city to rally with their faces revealed, allowing police to better identify participants who may be violating other lies, mayor Valerie Plante announced on Wednesday.
During a speaking event to the city’s executive committees, Mayor Plante said that the city’s police are well-equipped enough with the tools of the Criminal Code and the Highway Code to give ample ability to monitor and control public demonstrations.
The bylaw, which originally passed in 1969 as a means to maintain public safety and order, was amended during the Montreal student tuition hike protests in 2012 to include bans on all facial coverings during demonstrations. The bylaw also places obligation on protest organizers to provide city officials with march routes.
Then-opposition Projet Montreal criticized the 2012 amendments, claiming that they were put into place as a reactionary measure to the protests. In the years since those protests, the move to remove the bylaw has been supported by “a serious of court judgments, overturning the amendments as unconstitutional.”
Plante said a motion calling for the elimination of the bylaw will be tabled at the next meeting of city council on Monday.
Montreal’s history of masked protests
The city isn’t prone to masked protestors causing trouble, though. Recent May Day celebrations, a day chosen by communist and socialist groups as International Workers Day, have proven dangerous.
The 2012 protest in downtown Montreal, led by the anti-capitalist group CLAC Montreal (convergence des luttes anti capitalistes: Translation, ‘convergence of anti-capitalist struggles,’) quickly turned into a violent riot in which 108 people arrested and 33 charged, many of them masked.
In 2017, two masked members of the Black Bloc assaulted two Global News journalists, going so far as to announce a call to violence against journalists covering future protests, in order to “make demonstrations safer.”
The group released a post on Montreal Counter-Information titled “No face, no case: in defence of smashing corporate media cameras.”
The post read: “Sometimes, it is necessary to go against what the mainstream considers ‘acceptable,’ to break the law in order to do the ethical thing,” the post read. “Those who mask up to fight the racist far-right have decided, at great personal risk, that they will use any means necessary to shut down fascist organizing.”
A 2019 Anti-capitalist rally in downtown Montreal saw a group of 300 protesters throw smoke bombs and firecrackers, all while smashing windows of businesses on route.
Police arrested five people for what they described as “multiple criminal acts” and handed out multiple tickets for vandalism and mischief, such as breaking windows. Many of these protestors were masked.