Gerry Charlebois, a 78-year-old grandfather, was tackled and handcuffed by Canadian cops in Ottawa amid protests over vaccine mandates. 

Late last month, teamsters and anti-vaxxers calling themselves the “Freedom Convoy” descended on the Canadian capital to protest mandatory vaccination for cross-border truckers. 

The demonstrations have grown in intensity over the last week, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau being evacuated from Ottawa as marchers reportedly honked their horns, blocked intersections and increasingly confronted authorities and city residents. 

On Monday, city officials declared a state of emergency, which Mayor Jim Watson said would “cut the red tape” for law enforcement so they could force an end to the protests. Ottawa police were spotted arresting and ticketing demonstrators, seizing fuel from the truckers, and warning residents against giving protestors “material support.” 

Against that backdrop, 78-year-old Charlebois — a great-grandfather of four, a grandfather of 11, and a retired high school janitor — was thrown to the ground, arrested, and hauled away by Canadian cops after honking his horn in support of the Convoy on Sunday.

Video: Canadian Cops Arrest 78-Year-Old

In disturbing video footage that has since gone viral, a bystander is seen approaching Ottawa police officers as they confront Charlebois. 

“What did he do wrong?” the cameraman asks one cop. 

“None of your f—ing concern, man,” the officer shoots back. 

Later on in the six-minute clip, the bystander and others are seen chastising another officer who is questioning Charlebois. The 78-year-old expresses shock and confusion that he’s being detained for honking his horn. 

Bystanders heckled Canadian cops while they arrested Gerry Charlebois, a 78-year-old grandfather.
Bystanders heckled Canadian cops while they arrested Gerry Charlebois, a 78-year-old grandfather. Photo credit: YouTube

“It’s an offense — it’s an offense to beep your horn. It is,” one cop is heard to say. 

Charlebois is seen going to the back of his van and searching through the trunk (he would later say he was looking for his ID.) Eventually, one officer shoves the 4-foot-10 grandfather down to his knees in the middle of the street before placing him in handcuffs and putting him in the back of a squad car. 

According to media reports, Charlebois was not charged with a crime but was issued a $118 bylaw ticket for “unnecessary noise,” and was soon after released from custody. 

Gerry Charlebois was given a ticket after he was violently arrested by Canadian cops during the Ottawa protests.
Gerry Charlebois was given a ticket after he was violently arrested by Canadian cops during the Ottawa protests. Photo credit: YouTube

Gerry Charlebois Recounts Viral Arrest

In an interview with the Toronto Sun on Tuesday, Charlebois gave his full account of the now-viral incident that culminated with his arrest. 

The 78-year-old said he was traveling in Ottawa on Sunday when he encountered a protesting teamster and gave a show of solidarity. 

“I just gave the trucker a thumbs-up and a honk,” Charlebois said. “I meant no harm.” 

But soon after, law enforcement signaled for the grandfather to pull over. 

“I was in shock,” he told the newspaper. “When (the police) pulled me over, he told me I was in trouble for honking the horn.”

Gerry Charlebois, 78, said he's still sore from being shoved around by Canadian cops on Sunday.
Gerry Charlebois, 78, said he’s still sore from being shoved around by Canadian cops on Sunday. Photo credit: YouTube

Following his violent takedown by police, Charlebois reportedly bears visible wounds. The Sun wrote the 78-year-old has “cuts and bruises on his arms and hands, shoulder and knee,” and that his family said the bruises had worsened in the days that followed his arrest. 

“I’m so sore,” he told reporters. “It hurts so much.”

Though the protests are fueled by opposition to Canada’s vaccine mandates, Charlebois said he’s fully immunized and plans to get his booster shot some time soon. 

What’s more, the grandfather said he’s never had any trouble with police in almost 80 years before his arrest on Sunday.

“Never,” Charlebois said. “He just pissed me off when he said that about the honking. It upset me.”