Walmart assault: “You never think you’d be hit by a car”

Pascal Plamondon tried to block the way to the suspect who had overturned the Walmart security officer on Saturday afternoon using his Bobcat S590, but to no avail. However, this maneuver allowed him to see the fugitive’s license plate, vital information that led to the suspect’s arrest shortly after.
It is not the first time that the former Olympic athlete has had to intervene in a crisis situation.

Part-time firefighter in East Angus, he was part of the first contingent of sappers and first responders to respond to the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster in 2013, which killed 47 people.

After helping to control the blaze, he was on the team responsible for finding the bodies of the victims.

Pascal Plamondon works for the company he owns with his father, Excavation Plamondon. And in his vehicle, he cleans up the spring by removing the small stones from the streets and parking lots of the City of Sherbrooke.

“We have the contracts to remove the rock and clean the sidewalks of the city. It was when I went to the corner of Quatre-Saisons that I saw something that caught my eye in the Walmart parking lot. I was lucky, the field of vision is not great in the Bobcat, it is limited, “he told La Tribune.

“When I looked in the parking lot, I thought I saw two guys who were fooling around. But it was sending big signs and I saw that the situation was not normal. ”

A situation that quickly escalated.

“The suspect’s vehicle backed away, the victim approached it, but when the suspect wanted to leave, he never stopped and picked up the victim. He accelerated, he went quickly anyway, very quickly, he kicked off, and the victim fell at the bottom of the hood . Then he banged his head on the floor. ”

“When I saw that, I accelerated with my Bobcat, to block his exit to 13 th avenue, opposite the Quatre-Saisons, but it’s not the vehicle that goes the fastest, we s ‘hears,’ says Pascal Plamondon.

“I wanted to prevent him from going out, but I was not able. But I got close enough and when he turned on the street, I could see his plate and memorize it. Immediately after, I went to join the victim. ”

The crowd was already important around the victim, recalled Pascal Plamondon, who did his DEP in fire and his DEC in security / fire.

“There were already witnesses around. We immobilized the head, we turned it en bloc, in the lateral safety position, because there was a lot of blood coming out of its mouth. We wanted to avoid him choking on his own blood. At first, I didn’t think he would be hurt as much after seeing him fall. He must have fallen badly. At the speed the suspect accelerated by car, it didn’t help. ”

“The victim was in severe trauma, but he was not in cardiopulmonary arrest. In these situations, move your head as little as possible, as well as your spine. The second witness helped me to turn it in one movement. If you move the head, and it is no longer in the axis of the spine, this is where you can cause permanent injury to the person, even if you want to do well, the head must remain in the axis, or how you found it. ”

“The other witnesses on the spot were a little impressed by the scene, because there was a lot of blood. You have to put that aside. I didn’t have gloves, but you don’t think about it there and you intervene. No matter how ready you are, you never think you will be hit by a car and rolled over a car hood. When you see that, you take the leap, ”he recalled.

Rescuers were very quick to get to the scene, he confirms.

Similar experiences

Pascal Plamondon acted in cold blood. He has already had to intervene in similar crisis situations, which certainly helped, under the circumstances, on Saturday evening.

“This is not my first similar case. When I was a part-time firefighter in the corner of East Angus, we have already intervened in cases of extrication after car accidents. Same thing in Lac-Mégantic. So I was already a little prepared for this kind of scenario. It gives a big rush of adrenaline. Since Saturday evening, I always think about the guy and his family. I just hope he can recover from his injuries, “he said.

Difficult first line in Lac-Mégantic

Pascal Plamondon was also one of the first respondents who rushed to downtown Lac-Mégantic on July 6, 2013.

“I was in the first wave, I intervened to control the fire and then we looked for victims. I was there for four days, the first four. If people talk to me about it, I’m going to talk about it, if not, I don’t think about it. I go back there regularly, there is a chalet and a woodlot. People are still affected by this disaster, it appears in the city center. These are not memories that you want to think about often. You put that aside and you keep moving forward, ”said Pascal Plamondon.

“These are events that help build a shell. You never know. You can do a lot of similar interventions, but sometimes you can falter, you can never predict. ”

A former Olympic athlete

Pascal Plamondon is well known in the region for his weightlifting exploits.

He also participated in the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016, finishing 13th in the 85 kg category.

An injury ended his career.

“I was injured in 2017, when I fell on my back in training, with a load of 170 kg; my elbow crossed between the floor and the bar and it was my wrist which absorbed the shock, and which turned upside down. I participated in the Canadian Championship afterwards, but when I do a lot of volume, my wrist feels it, it is not able to remain painless. It took 2-3 weeks before the pain went away. ”

He won bronze at the 2015 Pan American Games and bronze again at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

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