Montreal woman punched in face in bar fight offers warning to other women

A woman who says she was attacked and choked by a man at Montreal bar-venue Casa del Popolo would like to warn other women about trying to take matters into their own hands when arguments get heated.

Chantal Lefebvre says violent fight broke out after man wouldn't take no for an answer

A woman who says she was attacked and choked by a man at Montreal bar-venue Casa del Popolo would like to warn other women about trying to take matters into their own hands when arguments get heated.

Chantal Lefebvre says she was punched in the face by a man during a bar fight at Casa del Popolo. (Chantal Lefebvre)

Chantal Lefebvre was at the Plateau-Mont-Royal bar with friends on Friday night when, she said, a group of men continually harassed one of her friends.

"There was some sort of argument earlier on, where people were telling them to go away and they weren't listening. We walked away," Lefebvre told CBC Homerun host Sonali Karnick on Wednesday.

Later on, Lefebvre said, one of the men returned and tried to get "too close" to her and her friend. 

She said a verbal altercation between her and the man quickly turned violent with the two pushing each other. 

Lefebvre admitted she threw her drink in the man's face after some shoving and yelling.

"Then he attacked me and choked me, and I hit him over the head with a pint glass and then he punched me in the face," she said.

The police were called, but no one was arrested and no charges were pressed on either side. Now Lefebvre has two black eyes and six stitches across the bridge of her nose. The man left the bar in an ambulance.

Lefebvre said the police had told her that she was in the wrong because she had used a weapon — the glass — and that she should have called for help rather than try to take on the situation herself. 

"They wanted me to tell someone, or call the police, but when somebody has you by the throat… I don't understand how that's possible," she said.

A warning to other women

Lefebvre said since posting her story to Facebook, she's received hundreds of comments from both women who've had similar encounters, and from men chastising her for behaving as she did.

She said she would like to impart the wisdom she earned from the fight to other women who may find themselves in such a situation.

"These types of men who don't take no for an answer are very dangerous. You have to be careful. Obviously they should be the ones who should be told they can't do things like that, but retaliating like I did is very dangerous and I do recognize that. I'm very lucky my injuries weren't worse. I just want to remind women you're putting yourself in a dangerous situation even more than it already is," Lefebvre said.

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