Man charged with kidnapping, intimidation of boy in incident preceding Edmonton Amber Alert

An Amber Alert message is seen on an Edmonton road on Oct. 5, 2018. The abduction of a 14-year-old girl in northeast Edmonton prompted police to issue an Amber Alert on Friday afternoon. Sarah Kraus/Global News

Detectives have charged a man with armed kidnapping in an incident involving a male teen a short time before Friday’s Amber Alert was issued for a 14-year-old girl.

While the Amber Alert was issued Friday afternoon for the girl, who police initially said was “forcibly abducted” near 84 Street and 105 Avenue, police said Saturday the charges have been laid in relation to the suspect’s interaction with a 14-year-old male.

Jacques Sennesael, 47, was charged with:

  • kidnapping with firearm
  • possession of an offensive weapon
  • intimidation
  • use of a firearm while attempting an indictable offence
  • possession for the purpose of trafficking (x2)
  • theft under $5,000

Edmonton police said the accused drove up to a school, approached a 14-year-old male and “asked the youth about the 14-year-old female who was the subject of the Amber Alert.”

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Police said he then produced a handgun and yelled at the boy to get into his vehicle, a red Nissan Maxima. The boy ran towards the school to get away, police said.

Officers said Sennesael and the teen boy did not know each other.

Sennesael was charged with kidnapping (not attempted kidnapping) even though the boy wasn’t taken, because based on the Criminal Code of Canada, the charge is based on the accused’s intent and actions, a police spokesperson said.

Witnesses told police the accused then approached the 14-year-old girl near the school, “and a short exchange took place where the girl’s cellphone was taken.”

“It was reported the girl hesitantly entered the accused’s vehicle, which then drove away,” police said in a statement Saturday. Officers said the boy and witnesses then reported the incident to the school resource officer.

Global News asked police to clarify the discrepancy from Friday’s information that the girl named in the Amber Alert was “forcibly abducted,” to Saturday’s update when police said she entered the vehicle “hesitantly.”

“As an investigation evolves, the facts can change,” said a spokesperson for the Edmonton Police Service. “We give you the information we have or that’s reported to us at the time.”

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The girl was found unharmed a short time after getting into the car with Sennesael, who was arrested at 97 Street and 118 Avenue.

Police said Sennesael and the 14-year-old girl know each other and as of Saturday night, there was “no sufficient evidence to lay charges” in relation to her alleged abduction.

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