A trio of male suspects, including two adults and a minor, were arrested last week in connection with the armed kidnapping of a 17-year-old Laval resident. The arrests took place in Montreal following a police chase. The suspects are said to have been in possession of a loaded handgun.
Witnesses called police after seeing the victim being accosted in the parking lot of a retail establishment at the intersection of Autoroute 440 and Curé Labelle Blvd in Laval. The assailants allegedly forced the victim to board their car, after which they sped off towards Montreal.
According to an account furnished to media by a spokesperson for the Laval Police, the LPD dispatched several cruisers at high speed, and the suspect vehicle was located travelling along Autoroute 40. When the driver refused to stop, the Montreal Police took over the pursuit which lasted around five minutes.
Finally stopped near the Jean Talon Market in east-central Montreal, the suspects allegedly attempted to flee on foot, but were apprehended by the police. The victim was found inside the suspect vehicle and was uninjured.
LPD investigators were set to meet with the suspects to try to unravel just what was going on between the suspects and the victim.
Mohamed Jbara and Midwinrick-Rockley Badette, both of whom are over 18, face charges of forcible confinement, possession of a prohibited weapon and assault. A loaded 22-calibre handgun was found by the police in their vehicle.
A third suspect, who cannot be named because he is under the age of 18, also faces charges in youth court as a minor. He is said to have reached his 18th birthday the day after the alleged events. According to the LPD, the suspects are known to the police for past incidents involving the use of violence.
LPD reports a 1 per cent rise in crime in 2020
In its 2020 annual report, the Laval Police Department says the number of criminal incidents in Laval rose by 1 per cent over the previous year, from 14,556 incidents in 2019 to 14,774 in 2020.
According to the report, which was presented to Laval city council in July by police chief Pierre Brochet, the number of car accidents in Laval dropped by one third (33 per cent), which was the best result in five years.
Brochet speculated that the COVID-19 pandemic was responsible for this improvement, by limiting the number of vehicles on the road last year because fewer people were travelling to the office. The number of traffic-related tickets issued by the LPD also dropped by 6 per cent.
But the pandemic, which forced many people to stay home, may also have encouraged the spread of child pornography. According to the LPD’s 2020 report, there was a 45 per cent increase in the number of files of this nature opened by the police.
The hike might also be explained by the fact that the RCMP’s National Centre Against the Exploitation of Children on the Internet increased its staff and opened more files of this nature.
In other types of crime, the LPD report said that the number of dossiers opened for fraud rose from 1,000 to 1,241 over a one-year period. Many of these cases involved identity theft and frauds committed on the web or by computer.
The LPD also recorded frauds related to the federal government’s emergency COVID-19 assistance subsidies. The number of incidents of conjugal violence in homes in Laval remained relatively stable, with 980 cases in 2020 compared to 988 the year before.