Pregnant woman says she was forced to walk home in cold after police seized her car

A Quebec woman, who is eight months pregnant, says she was forced to walk home in freezing temperatures on Tuesday, after a provincial police officer confiscated her car for an unpaid registration bill.

See Full Article

Laura Cerminara, a Grade 10 teacher in the Montreal suburb of Saint-Lambert, said she was driving to school on Tuesday morning when she was she stopped by a Surete du Quebec officer on the Jacques Cartier Bridge.

The crossing connects the city to suburbs of Longueuil and Saint-Lambert.

"I started to panic a bit, because it's maybe the second time in my life I've been pulled over," she told CTV Montreal.

The officer told her she had an outstanding car-registration bill, and seized her car on the spot.

"I'm thinking, at this point in time: 'Did we never pay for this? Like I don't understand what's going on,'" she said.

"And I'm really upset. I was crying. I couldn't believe this was happening."

Cerminara said the officer then dropped her off at the entrance to the bridge, several blocks away from transit in the "freezing cold," and made no offer to bring her home.

"I just couldn't believe it," she said.

"That anyone -- it doesn't matter that I'm pregnant -- but that anyone would just be dropped off like that."

Corinne Laydu-Durnin, the secretary at Cerminara's school, said she spoke to her following the incident, and she was "shocked" by the officer's conduct.

"She was crying. She was very upset, and she's 35 weeks pregnant, so I was worried about her," she said.

"I never thought an officer could do something like this to a person."

The Surete du Quebec is looking into the incident to determine if the officer acted inappropriately. If he did, he could face disciplinary action.

The police spoke to Cerminara this morning, but she said no apology was given.

Cerminara is considering filing an official complaint.

"I just felt really shocked and hurt that I live in place where this is how someone can be treated," she said.

But it is clear to her father, Peter Cerminara, that the officer's actions were unacceptable.

"It sounded like my daughter was pleading with him to do a couple of different things to help out, (and he) was like 'No. That's the end of that,'" he said.

"I mean, they've lost themselves. They've lost the role they're supposed to be playing: (Being) a service to the community."

With a report from CTV Montreal's Tarah Schwartz



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Resistance 150: Why everyone isn't celebrating Canada's birthday

    Canada News CTV News
    As organizers ramp up anticipation for Canada’s big bash honouring the 150th anniversary of Confederation, indigenous activists are rallying their own counter-celebrations. The #Resistance150 movement was created nearly eight months ago by Anishinaabe traditional storyteller and teacher Isaac Murdoch, Michif visual artist Christi Belcourt, Cree activist Tanya Kappo and Métis author Maria Campbell while they were discussing the government’s planned festivities for Canada 150. Source
  • CNN retraction, resignations prompt fresh swipe from Trump

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump used the resignations of three CNN journalists involved in a retracted Russia-related story to resume his attack on the network's credibility Tuesday. The story was about a supposed investigation into a pre-inaugural meeting between a Trump associate and the head of a Russian investment fund. Source
  • 'It happened very quick': Winnipegger sucker-punched by stranger

    Canada News CTV News
    A Winnipeg woman is worried she may lose the sight in one of her eyes after she says she was punched in the face by a stranger. Brittney Thomas-Ljungberg, 28, says the attack happened Sunday in Winnipeg’s Exchange District. Source
  • Soiled diapers, feces-filled jeans dumped outside elderly couple's home

    Canada News CTV News
    An elderly couple in Nova Scotia says they're tired of the "crap" someone keeps dumping at the end of their driveway. Jack and Mary Skinner say someone has been leaving soiled diapers, dirty underpants and men's jeans filled with feces outside their country home in Upper Branch N.S. Source
  • The Queen is getting a raise

    World News CBC News
    Queen Elizabeth is set to receive an increase in the official funding she receives each year. Buckingham Palace said Tuesday the "sovereign grant" will be roughly $138 million Cdn next year — an increase of more than $10 million Cdn. Source
  • British PM calls for 'major national investigation' into cladding after deadly blaze

    World News CBC News
    British Prime Minister Theresa May said Tuesday there must be a "major national investigation" into the use of potentially flammable cladding fitted to high-rise towers across the country, as police formally identified a five-year-old boy as one of youngest victims of London's Grenfell Tower fire tragedy. Source
  • Black teens pushing float weren’t meant to resemble slaves, parade organizers say

    Canada News CTV News
    Organizers of this year's St. Jean Baptiste celebrations in Montreal have issued an apology to anyone offended by the sight of black teens pushing floats carrying white people during Saturday's parade. A video recorded at the parade and posted online shows pop singer Annie Villeneuve on a float being pushed by what appears to be only people of colour dressed in what many said looked like the rags of slaves. Source
  • China hits back at U.S. on human trafficking downgrade

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING -- China has pre-emptively hit back at the United States for speaking "irresponsibly" ahead of an expected Trump administration move to name China among the world's worst human trafficking offenders. Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Tuesday that China strongly opposes the U.S. Source
  • For many, Canada 150 celebrations pale in comparison to nostalgia of Expo 67

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Dominic Ardonato doesn't see much reason to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday. The retired high school teacher complains about a disappointing economy, racial divides, and political squabbles that dominate his life in Montreal. Source
  • See the view from CN Tower’s new floor-to-ceiling 'window walls'

    Canada News CTV News
    At nearly 41 years old, the CN Tower is making a very sensible, middle-aged adjustment: it's getting transition lenses. The iconic structure in the heart of Toronto has revealed a major renovation on its viewing deck, where two self-tinting, floor-to-ceiling window walls were just unveiled. Source