Surrey RCMP say charges have now been laid after a child was held hostage outside a Surrey school Thursday afternoon.
Charged is 37-year-old Surrey resident Omar Moustapha Hassan. He is facing charges of kidnapping, hostage taking, possession of a weapon and unlawful confinement.
He appeared in court briefly on Friday. He had only been released from hospital on October 30.
Just before 1 p.m. Thursday, police were called to L’Ecole Gabrielle-Roy near 132nd Street and 69th Avenue after receiving calls a man had jumped a fence onto the school property and grabbed a 9-year-old child.
The man and the child do not know each other. Kids at the school said the man held the knife to the boy’s throat, but officials say that is not the case. The man had a knife in his hand, but he did not hold it to the boy’s throat.
Within seconds, police were able to convince the man to let the child go, after which they tasered him and then arrested him.
Police say the 37-year-old is known to them, and has a history of mental instability. He was taken to Surrey RCMP where he is being questioned.
Superintendent of the French School Board, Mario Cyr, says the boy is not harmed but he is traumatized.
“He was really scared because he didn’t know what was happening,” says one student.
There were six adult supervisors outside at the time and when they saw the incident, they called a code red, brought all the kids inside, and called the police. A code red is when the school is on complete lockdown.
“Students that were outside responded quickly and seriously to the call, they all moved inside the school to obviously leave only the man, the child in question and the police,” says Cyr.
Councillors arrived at the school Friday.
Anyone with further information is asked to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502 or if they wish to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers, at 1-800-222-TIPS.
© Shaw Media, 2013