A Toronto man is facing charges after allegedly taking several women hostage at a massage parlour in an hours-long ordeal that was eventually defused by police without anyone getting injured.
Toronto police officers responded to the business at Kincort Street near Ingram Drive at 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday.
Police said a man entered the spa and took three women hostage, before forcing one of them to tie up the others.
The suspect then allegedly threatened to harm the women and police said two were eventually released, but a third woman was held for several hours.
That morning, the distressed man called the Toronto Star newspaper and said that he needed help and had taken hostages, according to an account published on the Star’s website Wednesday evening.
The reporter who first took the call said she could hear a woman crying and shouting in the background, the paper reported. Another staffer called 911.
The man, who said his name was Michael, spoke with senior editor Doug Cudmore for over 45 minutes, the paper reported.
LISTEN: Doug Cudmore joins Alan Carter, guest host of the Tasha Kheiriddin Show, on AM640
Throughout the course of their conversation, the caller claimed he took hostages because he was fed up with allegedly being monitored by the RCMP, and claimed he was targeted due to his Muslim faith.
In an interview on Talk Radio AM640 on Thursday, Cudmore said he tried to keep the conversation going and the caller as calm as possible.
“Thankfully it all turned out, I mean, as well as possible,” he said.
“When I was on the phone, my one and only concern really was making sure that everybody came out of it OK.”
Cudmore said not too long after a police officer took over on the phone call, the suspect agreed to call another officer stationed outside the building. He was then taken into custody and the victim was freed.
Michael Storms, 35, of Toronto, was charged with three counts of forcible confinement and three counts of uttering threats.
He made an appearance in court Thursday and is expected to appear again on July 4.