No charges for intoxicated man who broke into Trudeau’s home ‘in error’
WATCH: Police say they won’t be charging an intoxicated 19-year-old, who walked into Justin Trudeau’s home. Police say the federal Liberal leader wasn’t being targeted, but is his security at risk? Vassy Kapelos reports.
TORONTO – No charges have been laid in an incident involving an intoxicated intruder who contemplated stealing knives after realizing he was in the wrong home.
The investigation is in relation to a recent break-in at Justin Trudeau’s Ottawa home, when a 19-year-old Ottawa resident believed he was visiting a friend. Police called the case a “nighttime prowling incident in the Rockcliffe area.”
Nothing was stolen, however according to reports, the intruder left a “threatening” note.
Ottawa Police Staff Sgt. Kal Ghadban said after realizing he was in the wrong house, the unnamed suspect felt badly and decided to leave a note behind. It was “a note of apology and remorse” in the mind of the intruder, said Ghadban.
“Any time a note is left behind, this can be deemed threatening, or disturbing and interpreted as a threat,” said Ghadban. “However there is no evidence to suggest there is or was a threat made to the residents of that home.”
Reports suggested knives were also found near the note, which Ghadban said the suspect momentarily thought of stealing.
“There were knives he believed were valuable, so he placed them down next to the note he left… [but] he immediately decided against that,” said Ghadban.
Ghadban said the suspect came forward after security camera footage was released Friday, and realized the “magnitude of his actions” after recognizing his own photo in the newspaper.
WATCH: Global’s Laura Stone speaks with Leslie Roberts about why the man who allegedly broke into Justin Trudeau’s home will avoid any criminal charges
“A thorough investigation has determined no charges should be laid,” said a statement from Ottawa Police.
“A satisfactory amount of evidence shows the person entered the wrong home in error.”
The 19-year-old had no criminal history or contacts with police. Investigators determined he had no idea whose house it was, and no intent to unlawfully enter the Trudeau’s home. Ghadban said investigators surmised he was “very intoxicated” after studying CCTV footage of his demeanor, body language and actions.
A statement from the Liberal party came soon after police said the investigation was closed.
“This a police matter and they have made the determination to not press charges,” wrote spokesperson Kate Purchase in an email to Global News. “We fully respect the Ottawa Police Services’ responsibility to make this determination.”
On Saturday Aug. 16, someone broke into the Liberal leader’s home while Trudeau’s wife and children slept. He was in Winnipeg at the time.
“Everybody’s safe, but the idea of someone getting into the house while my family was sleeping, while I’m away working is very distressing, to say the least,” said Trudeau after the break-in.
Police said the individual was formally cautioned and the investigation is closed.
The PMO initially called the incident “concerning” and said staff were glad everyone was safe. A spokesperson had no further comment following the closure of the investigation Tuesday.
Trudeau was accompanied by plainclothes RCMP officers two days after the incident while attending the Liberal Summer Caucus meeting August 18-20 in Edmonton.
“On the security issue, we’re working with the RCMP to make sure my family is safe,” he said Monday in Halifax.
When asked if RCMP security would be provided for Trudeau in light of the fact the break-in wasn’t targeted, RCMP would not “confirm the existence nor the specifics of a threat assessment,” in an email sent Tuesday afternoon.
With files from Vassy Kapelos and Heather Loney
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