09/02/2014 05:51 EDT | Updated 09/02/2014 07:59 EDT

Sudbury Couple Find Dead Body In Alleyway, Post Video Online (GRAPHIC)


A Sudbury man's awful discovery has sparked a debate about how to help those in need after he posted the video online.

YouTube user Marcel St-Jean was on his way to the city's RibFest this past Friday with his partner when they stumbled upon a dead body in an alleyway. He filmed the whole experience, including his reaction afterwards.

In the video, the man's body is seen lying in the alleyway beside another man who is semi-conscious, with a near-empty bottle of alcohol sitting beside them. St-Jean shakes the man's shoulders and checks his pulse, but realizes he is dead and tells someone nearby to call 911.

While the video shows the man's body, his face has been censored.

The man had been dead for several hours, emergency responders told him when they arrived.

The video then cuts to St-Jean expressing his shock as an ambulance takes the body away.

"I've never seen a dead body in my life, it's just, I'm freaking right out here," he said. "Guess I'm not having any wings or ribs and whatnot."

Greater Sudbury Police confirmed to CBC that they responded to the incident Friday and that they were not treating it as suspicious. They also identified the man as 55-year-old Vincent Harper of Greater Sudbury.

The video has amassed almost 295,000 views on YouTube since it was posted Sunday. Many commenters commended St-Jean for his response.

"That's so disturbing :( You handled it well though," wrote Jordan Link.

Others shrugged off his reaction to seeing the dead man.

"I don't think I would be all that disturbed by this," user Atacama Humanoid wrote.

"I see this happen in my town in the winter. Transients and homeless get drunk to stay warm and pass out to never wake up again," wrote Sporadic SpazzAttack.

Another user countered those who said the video was tasteless by saying it brought attention to homelessness.

"This is not messed up to put online - I think our politicians need to know that people DIE on our streets. I mean, that's messed up. We have self-driving cars, and people die on our streets. There are people who own multiple homes, and people die on our streets," he wrote.

More than 7,000 users subscribe to St-Jean's YouTube channel, in which he documents his daily life as a "scrapper". However, most of his videos are much more light-hearted.

He says in Sunday's video he felt bad for posting the "messed-up" incident online but thought he would share his experience with viewers.

"What a way to go, eh, poor old Vince."