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

  • 'Nature has flung her best': Aussies clean up after northeast cyclone

    World News CBC News
    Australia's army and emergency workers headed to areas of tropical Queensland state hardest hit by Cyclone Debbie on Wednesday, finding roads blocked by fallen trees, sugarcane fields flattened and widespread damage in coastal towns. No deaths were reported after Debbie tore a trail of destruction through Australia's northeast on Tuesday as a category four storm, one rung below the most dangerous wind speed level, before being gradually downgraded to a tropical low. Source
  • Environmental groups vowing to fight Trump climate actions

    World News CTV News
    CHICAGO -- Environmental groups are preparing to go to court to battle President Donald Trump's efforts to roll back his predecessor's plans to curb global warming. They've hired scores of new lawyers and have been raising money for months. Source
  • Expeditions to send huge trash bags to clean Mount Everest

    World News CTV News
    Tents are seen set up for climbers on the Khumbu Glacier, with Mount Khumbutse, centre, and Khumbu Icefall, right, seen in background, at Everest Base Camp in Nepal on Saturday, April 11, 2015. (AP / Tashi Sherpa) Source
  • Water emergency declared in Picton, Ont., due to leak from sunken barge

    Canada News CTV News
    PICTON, Ont. -- The mayor of Picton, Ont., has declared a water emergency as a precautionary measure and is asking residents to limit their water use because of contaminants leaking from a partially submerged barge. Source
  • Pair behind secret Planned Parenthood videos charged in California

    World News CBC News
    California prosecutors on Tuesday charged two anti-abortion activists who made undercover videos of themselves trying to buy fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood with 15 felonies, saying they invaded the privacy of medical providers by filming without consent. Source
  • Tornado chasers in Texas crash vehicles, 3 people killed

    World News CBC News
    Three storm chasers were killed when their vehicles collided at a rural crossroads during severe West Texas storms on Tuesday. The storms spawned multiple funnel clouds and an occasional tornado in open areas of West Texas on Tuesday afternoon. Source
  • Cyclone rips off roofs, flings boats onto land in Australia

    World News CTV News
    TOWNSVILLE, Australia - Residents of Australia's cyclone-battered tropical northeast emerged from their homes on Wednesday to find roofs lying in their yards, boats flung onto rocks and roads blocked by tangles of fallen trees and power lines, as emergency officials tried to reach communities cut off by the powerful storm. Source
  • Contaminants from sunken barge cause 'water emergency' in southeastern Ontario county

    Canada News CBC News
    Prince Edward County's mayor has declared a water emergency because of contaminants leaking from a partially sunken barge and is asking people on the Picton-Bloomfield drinking water system to limit their water usage. The county in southeastern Ontario said Tuesday night about 30 litres of an undetermined substance had leaked from the barge and had floated too close to a water intake pipe in Picton Bay, without actually going into the pipe. Source
  • Trump talks readiness to revive health bill as Senate looks to back away

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans and White House officials sounded ready to abandon efforts to repeal and replace the nation's health care law, at least for now, even as House Republicans - and the president himself - insisted Tuesday they were not ready to give up. Source
  • Woman suffered 'significant trauma that was not survivable' after falling down chute: Inquest

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    REGINA — A doctor says the injuries of a woman who died after falling 10 storeys through a Regina hotel’s laundry chute suggest she probably went down feet first, though he admits there’s a possibility she went backwards and head first. Source