Two Gatineau men face charges after teaching teens breaking into cars 'a lesson'
The side of a Gatineau police cruiser is seen in this undated photo.
Joanne Schnurr, CTV Ottawa
Published Wednesday, July 12, 2017 4:56PM EDT
Gatineau police have charged two men who wanted to teach a lesson to 3 teens about stealing.
Police say they went way too far and now face charges of kidnapping confinement and sexual assault.
It was a series of car break-ins that started all this. But it ended with a kid under 16 being forced into a car and another being forced to strip naked and walk down a public street.
It was July 2 around midnight that 3 young people, all under the age of 16, were reportedly trying to break into cars in Buckingham. They were caught in the act by a man who took off after them. From there, it turned ugly.
Andrée East is with the Gatineau Police, “We've never seen something like this before. At this point, for us it's a big event.”
At one point, East explained, another man came along and grabbed one of the kids by the back of the neck, forcing him into his vehicle. The two men then forced this young person to tell them where his two friends lived. They ended up at the house of second young person, who ran into his bedroom to hide but was ultimately pulled out and forced to strip naked and walk alongside their vehicle to the third house.
At that house, the parents of one of the young people convince the two men to leave and they called police.
“You can't make justice for yourself,” East says, “even if you have been the victim of a crime, whatever that crime is.”
39-year-old Claude Poitras and 37-year-old Marc Andre Essiambre appeared in Gatineau court today charged with kidnapping, confinement, sexual assault, assault and intimidation. 18 charges in all.
People in Buckingham say while they understand the frustration over criminal acts, vigilante justice is not the answer.
“That action should remain in the hands of police, not individual people,” says one woman.
“It is really stupid,” says another woman, “just call the police, the police will do the job.”
“It’s not the right way to teach someone a lesson in that you’re embarrassing that child,” says a man as he walks down the streets of Buckingham with his young child.
“It is frustrating that some don't get caught,” says a woman on her bicycle, “that police don't come in time but to teach a lesson, that's not the citizen's job to do.”
People can make a citizen's arrest of course, but Gatineau Police say there are limitations. They can detain someone they believe has just committed an offence but they also need to call police immediately