Former Oshawa city councillor Robert Lutczyk appeared in court briefly Wednesday on multiple charges, after allegedly kidnapping the city’s top city lawyer at gunpoint and then barricading himself inside a Whitby industrial building for more than 24 hours.
He was remanded in custody.
Mr. Lutczyk, 45, is charged with kidnapping using a restricted firearm; uttering threats to cause bodily harm; forcible confinement; flight from police; dangerous operation of a motor vehicle; using a firearm in the commission of an offence; and pointing a firearm.
So far, however, he has not been charged with illegally possessing firearms or ammunition, suggesting he had a permit for the handgun he allegedly used.
He surrendered early Wednesday morning, wrapping up a 27-hour standoff with police that ended peacefully.
At a press conference in Whitby, a half hour’s drive east of Toronto, Durham Regional Police Superintendent Brian Osborne would not name Mr. Lutczyk’s alleged kidnap victim, city solicitor David Potts.
Several sources, however, including police, confirmed that it is Mr. Potts.
The strange story, which at one point involved a bomb scare, began Monday night around 11 p.m. when a man armed with a handgun abducted Mr. Potts in the driveway of his Clarington home.
“What we know at this point is that the suspect was upset with the victim over some business matter he had with the City of Oshawa,” Supt. Osborne told a throng of reporters and television cameras.
Police were called after Mr. Potts’s worried wife spotted her husband’s empty car in the driveway, Oshawa Mayor John Henry said.
Police tracked down the suspect’s vehicle about three hours later, at 1:45 a.m., and found two men inside, one in handcuffs.
A short high-speed ensued, ending roughly one kilometre away, when the car stopped outside a Whitby industrial building at 401 Hopkins Street..
Durham officers confronted the two men and despite his restraints Mr. Potts was able to escape from his captor, who fled into an industrial unit he had been renting for the previous month.
By 1:52, police called Mr. Henry to tell him Mr. Potts was safe.
But acting on a tip that there was an explosive device in the unit, they sealed off a large part of the surrounding area.
Over the next 27 hours, as heavily armed tactical -squad officers stood by, negotiators spoke to Mr. Lutczyk via cell phone in efforts to coax him out.
He eventually emerged from the unit around 5 a.m. Wednesday morning.
No gunshots were fired.
“The suspect surrendered peacefully, without incident and there’s not injuries to anyone in this matter,” Supt. Osborne said.
“We’re just happy for the conclusion that we have.”