St. Catharines man latest charged in Wainfleet kidnapping


Published March 2, 2023 at 6:30 pm

Niagara Regional Police St. Catharines HQ. - via Google Maps.

A man from St. Catharines is the fourth and latest to be arrested in connection with Tuesday’s kidnapping attempt that resulted in a gunshot.

On the evening of Feb. 28, Niagara Regional Police responded to a disturbance in the rural area near Concession Rd. 6 and Wellandport Rd. in Wainfleet.

Police say they learned a group of four men had taken a young man from his home against his will around 5:20 p.m. The quartet of suspects was allegedly armed with guns and knives.

Shortly thereafter, police went out to a second home in Wainfleet where they say the group had tried to kidnap a second young lad. During this second attempt, a gunshot cracked the evening quiet though no one was hurt by it.

The suspects tried to flee the scene, but their getaway car got stuck in a ditch. Stranded in the wooded dark, the four ran from the car on foot.

Responding officers nabbed one of the group quickly, but the three other made it into the brush. To flush the man out, police brought in K9 units to trawl the area.

Additionally, Niagara police called for aid from the OPP who sent out a search helicopter. The search party found two more suspects by 7 p.m. but the fourth man eluded capture.

Police later charged a Niagara Fall boy, a Pelham boy (both age 16), and St Catharines man, age 20, with kidnapping, using a gun during a crime, attempted kidnapping and a second firearm charge.

The names of the 16-year-olds are protected by the Youth Criminal Justice Act. While typically the St. Catharines man’s name would be shared, police withheld it due to his connection to the minors. All three appeared in court on Mar. 1.

The fourth suspect remained at large at this time. However that changed on Mar. 2. Around 3:30 that afternoon, police arrested a second man from St. Catharines, this one aged 18.

The 18-year-old man was charged with a dozen offences including;

  • Kidnapping
  • Use of Firearm During the Commission of an Offence
  • Attempt to Commit and Indictable Offence (Kidnapping)
  • Use of Firearm while Attempting to Commit Offence
  • Careless Use of a Firearm
  • Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm in a Motor Vehicle
  • Possession of a Firearm without Holding Authorization
  • Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose
  • Assault with a Weapon, and
  • Pointing a Firearm

His identity too is being withheld given his connection to the teenagers. He will appear in court virtually on Mar. 3.

“Welland Detectives continue to investigate this matter,” police said, “The fourth suspect arrested today was the remaining outstanding suspect from the original reported incident. All parties believed to be responsible for original incident have been arrested.”

Police reiterated they believe this was a targeted incident and no threat to the public persits.

Anyone with information regarding the incidents can call police at (905) 688-4111 option 3, extension 1009318.

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