WATCH ABOVE: A man who was abducted and his thumb severed last night is also the man facing impaired driving charges in the death of a toddler. Vinesh Pratap explains.
EDMONTON — A mother whose two-year-old boy was killed when a vehicle crashed through a south Edmonton patio in 2013 is speaking out about the abduction of the man charged in his death.
Sage Morin took to Facebook to address the abduction of Richard Suter, the man awaiting trial in the impaired-driving death of her son, Geo Mounsef.
“I would like to take this time to remind you all that Justice For Geo was created as a beacon of light for our family in an otherwise extremely dark time,” the post read.
“Our family remains hopeful and entrusting of the legal system to bring Justice For Geo. It is utterly heartbreaking to have our Baby Geo’s memory associated with this horrible act of violence. We will continue to spread love and kindness in Geo’s Honor as we prepare for the upcoming trial.”
Suter, 64, was abducted, beaten and dumped in the city’s southwest with a severed thumb early Friday.
A witness said the bloodied man, clad only in a bathrobe, socks and shoes, flagged down his car.
“He immediately said, ‘I need help. I don’t know where I am and I’m missing my thumb,'” said the witness, who doesn’t want to be identified.
“I obviously asked him where his thumb was and what happened to him. … He said that he was at home and then next thing you know someone was dropping him off on the road and he had no idea where his thumb was.”
Lawyer Dino Bottos confirmed his client, Richard Suter, was abducted Thursday night. Suter has been identified as the man in a photo taken by the witness at the scene.
“I can confirm that late yesterday (Thursday) evening, around 11 p.m. or shortly thereafter, Mr. Suter was abducted from his home by more than one assailant. He was forced into a vehicle and driven away. His wife called 911,” Bottos said Friday.
Suter is awaiting an October trial on charges of impaired driving causing death and three counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm.
In May 2013, two-year-old Geo Mounsef died after being pinned to a wall when Suter’s vehicle crashed through the patio at Ric’s Grill in Terwillegar, near 142 Street and 23 Avenue. Police allege Suter was stopped outside the restaurant when he shifted into drive instead of reverse.
The boy’s parents were also injured but his five-month-old brother was unharmed.
Bottos said Suter was taken to a roadside in south Edmonton and “assaulted in a very serious and traumatic manner.”
“He was then left alone and flagged down a car. The occupants of this car stopped and rendered assistance and the police arrived shortly thereafter.”
The witness said when he and his parents came upon Suter around 12:20 a.m. Friday, his mom called 911 while he called his wife, who’s a nurse, to come from their home nearby. He said Suter was very calm.
“It was eerily calm. … He didn’t seem distraught or anything like that. I went right up to him and I looked at his thumb and it was like something straight out of a Quentin Tarantino movie where the blood was just spurting out of his hand.”
He said five police cars, two ambulances and a fire truck were called to the scene. Police ushered him and his family away before questioning Suter.
The Edmonton Police Service has confirmed it is investigating an alleged abduction overnight in the southwest area. Police said a man was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Bottos said Suter’s wife was assaulted in a parking lot in August 2013. No one was charged.
*Editor’s note: This story was originally published Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. It was updated at 11:23 a.m. MT Saturday to include comments from Sage Morin.