Nickel Belt Liberal candidate Marc Serré was assaulted in his campaign office on Monday, Greater Sudbury Police reported today.
Police said that at around 10 a.m. on Sept. 13, GSPS was called to a Serré campaign office regarding a disturbance. Office staff reported a woman had entered the premises and “began yelling and behaving in a hostile manner” toward Serré and his staff members.
“Serré had been standing between a table and wall when the woman began pushing the table against him, pinning him against the wall,” GSPS reported. “As he began recording the incident with his cellular phone for evidence purposes, she proceeded to swipe at Serré’s hands with her own cellular phone in hand, striking his hands twice.”
Police said she claimed that she had been injured by one of the candidate’s election signs. Although she initially refused to leave, she eventually complied.
That wasn’t the end of the incident, however. Police said later as Serré was leaving the parking lot in his vehicle, the woman jumped in front of his car and began striking the hood and yelling. She then attempted to re-enter the campaign office to retrieve belongings she had left there, police said, but upon finding the office locked “she proceeded to kick the door.”
The 56-year-old woman has been arrested and charged with assault with a weapon.
She was released on an undertaking with a court date of Nov. 17. Police said they will not release her name “as the information has not yet been sworn to through the court process.”
“We remind community members that violence and harassment toward election candidates will not be tolerated and that offenders will be held accountable,” GSPS said. “We also remind community members that damaging or defacing an election sign is a criminal offence.”
Police encourage people to report vandalism of election signs by filing a mischief to property report via the online reporting system. To report a stolen election sign, you can file a theft report here.
“Political figures are human beings and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, just like anyone else,” GSPS said. “Regardless if you agree or disagree with a political party, there are appropriate methods to voice your questions or concerns that do not include violence, harassment or vandalism.”