Manitoba RCMP says women and children are safe after alleged ‘random kidnapping’

WINNIPEG — A Manitoba woman and her 2-year-old daughter were safe after stopping to help a man pretending to need help on the side of the road, but the man hopped in his car and demanded that he drive to Winnipeg. I did, said RCMP Saturday.

Cpl. Julie Courchaine told a press conference that police were first called to the parking lot of a hotel in Portage la Prairie, west of Winnipeg, on Friday afternoon after a man in a van behaved erratically and took drugs. He said he had received reports that he might be there.

After a brief discussion with the man, the police put the van in gear, rammed it into a patrol car, drove towards the officers, and rammed it again before taking off, Kuhlshein said.

Courchaine said the chase had to be called off after the van, allegedly stolen from Winnipeg, veered into oncoming traffic on US Highway 1.

Shortly thereafter, 911 was called by a person living just east of Portage La Prairie. Call disconnected.

“But before the phone went silent, I heard male and female voices,” Courchaine said.

The woman was also able to call her husband, Kuhlshein said. He called her 911 too.

“She was driving in the area and saw this man in distress on the side of the road and stopped to help him, at which point he jumped in. She was able to call her husband. It’s us,” Courchaine explained.

Investigators believe they were traveling to Winnipeg, and Coolshane said police were in the process of issuing an Amber Alert.

Coolshane said the woman did not know the suspect. She said no women or children were injured and no weapons were used.

The suspect was known to the RCMP, she said.

“This was a very difficult situation and we would like to thank the victims for doing all they can to keep themselves and their children safe.”

Epoch Times photo
The woman and her 2-year-old daughter were safe after pulling over to help a man who allegedly pretended to need help on the side of the road, but the man jumped in his car and demanded that he drive away. Winnipeg. (Canadian Press/HO-RCMP)

Police are currently looking for Michael Stephen Klimchuk, 62, from Winnipeg. He is wanted on his two counts of kidnapping, his two counts of forced confinement, kidnapping of a person under the age of 14, assault with a weapon on a police officer, and his three counts of dangerous manipulation. Theft of a car, and possession of over $5,000 in stolen property.

Klimchuk is 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighs about 220 pounds, has blue eyes, long brown hair, and was last seen wearing a camouflage jacket and light colored pants.

Coolshane said he is not considered to pose an immediate threat, but anyone who sees him or knows where he is should contact the police immediately.

Manitoba’s RCMP tweeted a surveillance camera image of the suspect on Friday night, saying it was trying to identify him in connection with a “serious incident near Portage la Prairie,” but the alleged kidnapping. was not mentioned.

When asked about the release delay, Courchaine told a press conference that it took police time to piece together the various factors.

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