Two sides to story in alleged abduction attempt: Police

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Matt Gardner
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A pending investigation into a weekend report of an attempted abduction has revealed two conflicting accounts of events, police say.

Const. Shawn Rowden of the Prince Albert Police Service speaks at a Monday press conference.

No charges have been laid as police attempt to reconstruct exactly what happened on Saturday afternoon in the South Hill Mall area.

“At this point there are two different stories and we’re trying to corroborate the stories,” Const. Shawn Rowden said at a Monday press conference.

“That’s why we continue to investigate as well as obtain surveillance cameras so the video can try and help us out in any way with the file.”

A police review of surveillance cameras was scheduled to take place on Monday.

Rowden said such a delay is not uncommon for weekend incidents, since employees may not have access to surveillance footage until the start of the week.

“Our major crimes (unit) is also investigating this file as well,” he noted. “We take these matters very seriously.”

The Prince Albert Police Service initially received the report of an attempted abduction at approximately 3:30 p.m.

A Facebook post originating from a woman who identified herself as a friend of the complainant said that the latter was walking into the mall with her three children when two men by the door began walking towards them.

As the men approached, they allegedly grabbed the complainant’s eight-year-old child and ran off with him. The account said that the woman was able to catch up with the suspects and retrieve the child after a fight.

Upon the arrival of police, officers interviewed the complainant and then identified and interviewed two male suspects.

At this point there are two different stories and we’re trying to corroborate the stories. Const. Shawn Rowden

The suspects stated that they were not attempting to abduct the child, but were simply stopping him from running into traffic.

Referring to the account of one suspect, Rowden noted, “His story was that he was trying to prevent the child from … getting run over from a car.”

While police continue to investigate the case thoroughly, they have concluded that the community is not at any risk.

“Just from talking to the suspects and talking to the complainant, basically at this point we don’t consider this a high-risk incident … There’s no reason to be alarmed in this particular incident,” Rowden said.

“We do feel it’s a serious incident,” he added. “But if we felt the public should have been known, we would certainly let the public know if they were at risk.”

Rowden said that both the complainant and suspects had been very co-operative with police over the course of the investigation.

As police attempt to sort out their conflicting accounts through a careful review of surveillance footage, Rowden appealed to witnesses or any person with additional knowledge of the case to come forward.

“If anyone has any information pertaining to this, if they witnessed it -- absolutely, call the Prince Albert Police Service,” he said. “Any information’s certainly going to help.”

Organizations: Prince Albert Police Service

Geographic location: South Hill Mall

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