London police have identified the man arrested in relation to a child abduction over the weekend.
A four-year-old girl was briefly taken Sunday morning in the city’s northeast end. Police say the girl was playing outside with her sibling when a man stopped, exited his vehicle, brought the girl to his car and drove away.
According to police, witnesses saw the car drive a short distance through the neighbourhood. Police say it was reported the man touched the girl inappropriately during her time in the car.
The car then stopped in the same area where she was taken, police said. Once the car was brought to a halt, the girl was able to open the door.
She ran home to tell her parents what happened and investigators say she was not physically injured.
Lawrence Allen Thompson of London is charged with abduction of a person under 14, kidnapping, sexual assault on a person under 16 and sexual interference with a person under 16.
Police say the 65-year-old man was arrested on Monday, shortly after 6 p.m.
“She’s understandably traumatized,” said Detective Sgt. Dave Poustie during a news conference on Tuesday.
“It’s obviously a difficult situation for anybody — especially for a young child.”
Poustie added that Thompson is not known to the girl or her family. He would not say if he is known to police.
Police are providing support to the girl and her family in order to help them get through the ordeal.
“As a parent myself, I can imagine that this would be a horrific thing to be going through,” said Poustie.
Police say they want to remind parents to talk to their children about personal safety.
The accused remains in custody and appeared in a London courthouse on Tuesday.