We’ve always known the streets of Chibougamau were tough. But the night of Saturday, Sept. 21 might go down in the annals of rowdiness. Police made 10 arrests after several incidents, beginning with a fight among a group of women that began on downtown streets after 3 am.
Chibougamau SQ officer Pierre Nadeau says police spotted a Native woman running down the street after being assaulted by a group of women.
The 22-year-old victim, Pauline Shari, suffered a broken arm, but refused to make a declaration to the police. Instead, police allege the woman’s brother, Isaac Shari, ended up fighting with officers and was subsequently arrested and charged with assaulting a police officer, obstruction and breaking his probation conditions.
Isaac Shari told the police he was just trying to help his sister who he thought was being arrested by them.
It was hectic that night, Nadeau observed, saying there were about 40 to 60 people on the downtown streets. “They were being rebellious against the police,” he said. “This never happened before.” Nadeau told the Nation that fights were happening everywhere. “One women was being assaulted by around six people at the back of the Restaurant Chaumière,” he said. He said this incident took place at around 4 am and from this dispute two women were ar- rested and were later conditionally released.
In yet another incident, police were called upon to handle a domestic dispute. The victim was taken to the Chibougamau hospital and a suspect was charged with assault and arrested.
Later, between 5:30 and 6am, the police continued with beefed-up patrols of 16 officers. Nadeau said the extra force was needed because there were still about 20 rowdies on downtown streets. “They were screaming and disturbing the peace,” said Nadeau. “A lot of people were given fines because of the Chibougamau alcohol by-law and some were given fines for public mischief.” Nadeau said that the Chibougamau taxis at this point refused to transport any Crees to Waswanipi, Ouje-Bougoumou or Mistissini because people were being too rowdy at the taxi stands.
Roberval SQ Media Liason officer Helene Nepton said that, of the people that were arrested, five appeared in court Sept. 24 in Roberval. Denis Bosum, Pauline Shari, Nellie Wapachee, Billy Trapper and Isaac Shari face charges ranging from obstruction, assaulting a police officer and assault.
Nepton also informed the Nation that doctors at the Chibougamau Hospital stated that some people brought into hos-pital had been using PCP, with some people in danger of suffering an overdose.