Aggression in Haute-Mauricie: a "super woman" to monitor snowmobiles

Aggression in Haute-Mauricie: a “super woman” to monitor snowmobiles

SHAWINIGAN | In Haute-Mauricie, everyone knows Sylvie Lachapelle. Councilwoman, tireless hotelier, and president of the Quad Club, Parent’s “superwoman” survived an extremely violent assassination attempt in 2020. Nearly three years after her attack, she campaigns against violence against women.

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To say that Sylvie Lachapelle is a woman of action would be an understatement. By her own admission, the 56-year-old has always “driven 300 miles per hour.” Except snowmobile, of course.

On January 3, 2020, he hit a wall. In fact, it was more the wall that hit her. With fists, with knees, with ski-doo boots on the face. 21 times in just three minutes.

“It’s not complicated, it destroyed my life,” he sums up in an interview with our Research Office.

“He” is Patrice St-Amand. The 44-year-old is accused of attempted murder of the co-owner of the Hôtel Central in Parent. His trial began last week in La Tuque.


Patrice St-Amand is charged with attempted murder.

Screenshot, TVA Nouvelles

Patrice St-Amand is charged with attempted murder.

shocking video

The incredibly violent assault was captured on a store surveillance camera, and the footage was made public on Wednesday.


A surveillance camera captured the scene where he allegedly hit the hotel owner in the face.

Courtesy

A surveillance camera captured the scene where he allegedly hit the hotel owner in the face.

The outrage was on everyone’s lips in Haute-Mauricie. At the Auberge de la Petite Chapelle, at the Hôtel Marineau, at the “Déli” – the restaurant on Commercial Street where everyone eats –, in the corridors of the courthouse: everyone talked about what had happened to Sylvia.

In the rest of the province as well, because Mme Lachapelle is a figurehead in the quad and snowmobile community.

“How can one human being do this to another? He is evil incarnate! That woman is an angel. She didn’t deserve to go through this. When I found out, she cut off my legs, ”says comedian Philippe Laprise, who quickly learned about him through the FaceTime application.


Comedian Philippe Laprise knows Ms. Lachapelle well, describing her as

MARTIN ALARIE / QMI AGENCY / MONTREAL MAGAZINE

Comedian Philippe Laprise knows Ms. Lachapelle well, describing her as “an angel.”

The man who hosted the TV show Histoires de Sentiers is full of praise for Mme The chapel.

“She is a super open, super sweet, zero violent woman. I have never seen her angry. I am sure just before [la tentative de meurtre alléguée]she spoke to him in a low voice”, he describes in a telephone interview, a description similar to all the ones our Investigation Office heard during our visit to Haute-Mauricie.

nature lover

A native of Laval, Sylvie Lachapelle moved to Parent, a small town of 400 souls 200 kilometers north of La Tuque, at the age of 18. She went to meet her husband, who was already working in the region.

“I was supposed to be there for just one year,” recalls who has lived there for almost four decades.

Their romance didn’t last, but Sylvie fell in love with her new corner of the country. Passionate about fishing, ATVs and snowmobiling, she decided to settle there permanently when she met her husband of the last 36 years, Jean Dupont.

mythical place

At that time, the latter was manager of the Central Hotel. The establishment, which includes thirty rooms, a restaurant and a bar, has been installed in this forest town since 1910.


Many snowmobiles gather at the Hôtel Central de Parent every winter.

Courtesy

Many snowmobiles gather at the Hôtel Central de Parent every winter.

When the owner decided to get rid of it in 1999, Sylvie Lachapelle and Jean Dupont jumped at the chance.

Having always worked in the field of customer service, Mr.me Lachapelle has invested heavily in its community. In particular, she held the position of municipal councilor for eight years.

And, in addition to working “like a jerk in the hotel,” 15 hours a day, seven days a week, she founded a cheerleading squad and Parent’s Quad Club.


Here we see Sylvie Lachapelle a few years ago with a group of French tourists.

Courtesy

Here we see Sylvie Lachapelle a few years ago with a group of French tourists.

“The only club in the Federation [dont le Conseil d’administration ne comprend] than women,” he says proudly.

With the Quad Club, he organizes méchouis and “golden dinners”, the profits of which go to the town of Parent. “When people needed medical attention outside the village, we help them with accommodation, for example. We also help preserve the church of Parent”, illustrates Mme The chapel.

Hotelier and psychologist.

“Sylvie is a people-focused person, always ready to help. She often played psychologist. If someone was a little drunk, they didn’t leave the Central, she put them to bed in a room”, says Philippe Laprise.

This is what he would have offered Patrice St-Amand the night of the attack. Sylvie Lachapelle got out of bed just before 1:30 am to help her waitress Nathalie Hébert, who was having “issues” with this turbulent customer.


Screenshot TVA News

“There has never been any problem at the Hotel. People respected me. It rarely happened that there were battles,” she notes.

That night, Jean Dupont had offered his wife to take charge of the situation, but she declined his offer. “My spouse was older and smaller. I chatted with the guys, had a drink with them. I always managed to calm things down”, explains the hotelier.

gorilla sometimes

From the height of her meter seventy, Sylvie Lachapelle did not hesitate to “play the gorilla”, if necessary. “I once pushed a guy 6 feet out onto the sidewalk. 15 years have passed and the world is still talking about it. In the village, people are not used to this, the police are nearby. We have to manage the rest of us”, she sums up.


Comedian Philippe Laprise knows Ms. Lachapelle well, describing her as

file photo

Comedian Philippe Laprise knows Ms. Lachapelle well, describing her as “an angel.”

Sylvie Lachapelle has always sown good things around her, and now she’s reaping the rewards. Unable to drive for more than an hour due to her severe head injury, the support of her family is essential for him.


Although he still can’t go back to work, there is no way the hotel owner will give up. “I’m trying all kinds of things to get rid of my headache, all at my expense. I see specialists in Trois-Rivières, in Quebec, in Montreal. I even went to see a chiropractor in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli ”, he lists.

As the Crown prosecutor said, Mrs.me Éric Thériault, Sylvie Lachapelle is certainly made of wrought iron. It bends, but does not break.


She tried to get up twice while being beaten. Two days after being operated on by surgeon Alain Guimont, she was released from the hospital.

unacceptable violence

Three weeks later, she participated in a vigil against femicide in Quebec, following the death of Marylène Lévesque, at the hands of a repeat offender.


“I thought it was important to show that it is unacceptable. Women must be careful and, above all, not tolerate violence. And we have to get the message across to men: if they have a problem, seek treatment,” says M.me The chapel.

In the spring of 2020, the hotel manager went to La Tuque hospital to present an angel statuette to the first nurse who had welcomed her. “I wanted to thank him and let him see that my face was less bad,” she laughs.

Collateral damage

Sylvie Lachapelle struggles to deal with the collateral damage of her assault. “In small towns, she trusts everyone. When they attacked me, it affected the entire population,” she explains.

And, as a misfortune never happens alone, the wife of Mrs.me Lachapelle breathed his last on August 10.

“After my attack, he was left alone in the hotel and was under a lot of stress. She has had two strokes and has three cancers. It was too much for him ”, laments who took care of his Jean until the end.

Despite all these misfortunes, Sylvie Lachapelle has no intention of leaving Parent. And when she is asked what she misses the most, she replies without hesitation: “work”.

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