A L'Isle-Verte, Que., family who stayed by a stranger's hospital bedside overnight in a case of mistaken identity is demanding a public letter of apology from provincial police.

Last week, provincial police called Roland Lafrance's family to tell them he had been seriously injured in a fall and had been transferred to a Quebec City hospital.

Police had relied on identification by passersby after discovering a man who had been badly injured. Lafrance's sisters rushed to the hospital and tended to their brother for hours. 

It was only after receiving a call from Lafrance himself that they realized they were caring for a stranger.

Now they'd like the Sûreté du Québec to issue a letter of public apology for the error and to reimburse them for the cost of getting to and staying in Quebec City.

"I find them very arrogant," Daisy Boucher Lafrance, Roland Lafrance's niece, said of provincial police.

"I sincerely believe out of respect for the family and as an apology, the SQ has to at least reimburse my family for the useless expenses and issue a public letter of apology."

The SQ said it has no comment. 

Family shaken by negative comments

Since going public about the mix-up, Boucher Lafrance says her family has been bombarded with people making fun of them for not immediately realizing it was not Roland in the hospital bed.

"My mom's legs are still shaking from all the negative comments we've received," Boucher Lafrance said.

"[My mom] and aunt really thought it was my uncle. On top of it, the man's hospital bracelet had my grandparents' names on it."

Boucher Lafrance says the man's face wasn't completely visible.

"When the police, doctors say it's your brother...you finally tell yourself it is him, even with some doubts," she said.