Winnipeg police have arrested a man after a random kidnapping involving a 25-year-old woman and her two-year-old daughter in the Portage La Prairie area on Friday.
Around 4:30 p.m. RCMP went to a hotel in the Portage La Prairie area for a report of a man who was acting erratically in a parking lot inside a van and possibly consuming drugs, police say.
Officers approached the van and attempted to speak with the man, he spoke briefly with officers then police say he put the vehicle in reverse and rammed a police car.
The man accelerated forward in what police call an apparent effort to strike the responding officers and reversed again into the police vehicle before driving off.
Responding officers started in pursuit due to the dangerous driving the suspect was exhibiting, including driving into oncoming traffic on Highway 1.
The pursuit was stopped and officers continued to conduct extensive patrols of the Portage la Prairie area for the van.
Close to an hour later at 5:20 p.m., a 911 call was received from a resident just east of Portage la Prairie.
Officers went to the residence and learned that a 25-year-old woman and her two-year-old daughter had been kidnapped and their vehicle had been taken. The suspect’s van was located nearby.
“The victim and the male suspect are not known to each other,” Cpl. Jule Courchaine says in a press conference Saturday.
“It was later determined that she came across the male suspect, who was pretending to be in medical distress by the side of the road.”
Courchaine says the woman stopped her vehicle to assist and the man got into her car and demanded she drive him to Winnipeg.
Every available RCMP officer in the area was mobilized to assist with the search. The Winnipeg Police Service was also notified and assisted with multiple units. RCMP Air Services and WPS AIR1 were also called.
Later, the victim contacted the police indicating that the man had left the vehicle. She told police that she and her daughter were safe and in the Polo Park area.
Police say an amber alert was created and ready to go when the woman called.
A 62-year-old man from Winnipeg was arrested and charged on Sunday.