Phil Boudreault, the Sudbury boxer who became an unlikely hero at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta and a longtime, high-ranking Hells Angels member, was reportedly shot while riding his motorcycle near Lachute, Que. on Saturday morning.
Sources say he suffered a punctured lung in the attack, which officers from the Surete de Quebec believe was linked to organized crime.
Police have not named the shooting victim, but according to QMI Agency, sources have identified him as Boudreault, a 41-year-old Sudbury native and vice-president for the Hells Angels Ontario Nomads who had been living in Quebec.
According to QMI, SQ spokeswoman Audrey-Anne Bilodeau said "the motorcyclist was seriously injured and was rushed to a hospital, but there is no fear for his life."
Sudbury sources have also identified Boudreault as the man who was shot.
Gord Apolloni, head coach at Top Glove Boxing Academy in Sudbury and Boudreault's former trainer, said he received calls on Sunday confirming the news. "He was going to a bike show near Montreal," Apolloni said. "He was lucky that his girlfriend didn't get shot, because she was on the back of the bike."
Apolloni said he was told Boudreault's injuries were serious and that he might have shrapnel in his spine.
Apolloni said he hasn't seen or spoken with Boudreault in some time, but said "it was a scary thought, knowing he could have been killed." "He has gone off on his own at this point, but I still remember Phil the way that Phil was at the Olympic Games. I still remember him living on his own and trying to clean his life up. That's how I remember Phil."
Police were called at around 10:30 a.m. about an incident on Bethany Road. A man was found lying in a ditch, his motorcycle at his side.
The assailants reportedly fled in an older, gray-blue SUV, which police are trying to locate.
"We heard maybe 10-15 shots," a witness, who did not want to be identified, told QMI Agency in French. "After that, there was a truck that passed us quite quickly and he left."
CTV News in Montreal reported a resident who lives nearby and who did not want to be named said he heard bangs and then a series of rapid-fire shots. He ran to the road and found the biker in pain and lying on the road with a woman at his side, CTV reported.
A second motorcyclist who was riding with them came and dragged the victim away to a ditch, the resident said. The resident spoke to the victim – an anglophone – who told him he is a member of the Hells Angels, CTV reported.
Boudreault had been seen last November at a funeral for one of the founding members of the Hells Angels in Montreal, Lionel Deschamps, in Repentigny, Que., QMI reported, and wore a jacket emblazoned with a Nomads "vice-president" badge.
Dubbed "The Sudbury Sensation," Boudreault represented Canada in the light welterweight division at the 1996 Summer Olympics and became a hero both locally and nationally for a time for his spirited showing in Atlanta.
Since then, however, he has spent much of his time getting in trouble with the law, including a brutal bar attack in 2005.
In 2013, he told a Sudbury court he planned to leave Sudbury after he was sentenced to 90 days in jail for violating his long-term supervision order. "My wife is a schoolteacher," Boudreault said after receiving the jail term. "We're moving. We're out of here … I will pack my bags and be out of this community for good … "I have overstayed my welcome, obviously.”
The former boxer was declared a long-term offender in August 2005, after he was found guilty of a vicious assault on a Valley East father and son in March, 2004. One of the victims suffered a broken jaw in three places, the loss of some teeth and part of his jawbone, and bruised ribs.
In August 2007, Boudreault was placed on a five-year long-term supervision order after completing a two-year prison term for the assault. The Crown had sought to have him declared a dangerous offender.
Boudreault made several attempts to resume his boxing career and compiled a 5-1 record as a professional, but couldn’t stay out of legal trouble.
"I still believe I can perform on the world stage,'' Boudreault told The Star during a training session at the Valley East Boxing Club's facilities in 2009. "I'm not saying I'm going to win a world title, but I believe I can compete at that level.''
Less than a year later, Boudreault was in jail in Sudbury.
Boudreault impressed boxing aficionados with his performance at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, finishing fourth in his weight class and coming within a whisker of winning a bronze medal. Many observers believed he should have won a medal, but was shortchanged by the judges' decision in his final bout.
Thanks to Sudbury Star.
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