Alleged Prince George hospital kidnapper did time for killing friend

A man charged with kidnapping a female patient from a Prince George hospital on Sunday has a lengthy criminal record in B.C. and Alberta.

B.C. hospital reviews security after a patient in wheelchair was taken against her will

Prince George RCMP arrested Lash Leroux after they say a woman was abducted from a local hospital on Sunday. (Prince George RCMP)

A man charged with kidnapping a patient from a hospital in Prince George, B.C. is also a convicted killer who did prison time for shooting a friend in Alberta.

Lash Leroux, age 44, has been charged with kidnapping and theft.

The charges were laid after police said a female patient in a wheelchair was taken from the University Hospital of Northern B.C. against her will on Sunday and forced in to a car.

It took RCMP six hours to track Leroux and the 50-year-old woman to a nearby home.

Leroux was arrested and remains in custody in Prince George until a bail hearing next week.

Leroux fatally shot friend in Alberta

Leroux's criminal record in B.C. is fairly short, but he has an extensive criminal record in Alberta, where he is a convicted killer.

Originally charged with second degree murder, Leroux was convicted of manslaughter for fatally shooting his friend Kerry Goldthorpe in Millet, just south of Edmonton, in 2002.

Leroux was sentenced to four years in prison and has a lifetime firearms ban. When he was released in 2009, he allegedly violated the release conditions and was the subject of a Canada-wide arrest warrant.

Leroux has also served prison time for obstructing police, intent to avoid arrest, theft, being unlawfully at large, and possession of a controlled substance. 

Hospital reviews security

Officials say the alleged kidnapped patient was rushed back to hospital by ambulance. Northern Health refused to release any details about her condition citing privacy concerns. 

Northern Health is conducting an internal review of an alleged kidnapping of a patient from the University Hospital of Northern B.C. on Sunday. (Northern Health )

Police say the alleged kidnapper and victim knew each other.

Meanwhile, security procedures at the University Hospital of Northern B.C. will be the subject of an internal review of the kidnapping incident, said Jonathon Dyck, a media spokesman with Northern Health.

Dyck says it's tough to balance patient safety with the hospital's desire to welcome visiting family and friends.

"Staff listen for cues that would indicate if a visitor is not welcome," Dyck told CBC. "We do rely on patients to tell us if they feel unsafe or do not wish to have a specific visitor."

Dyck said patients who fear for their safety should notify nursing staff, hospital security, or police.

The alleged kidnapping continues to be a concern in Prince George, especially on the streets around the hospital.

"If I was one of their bureaucrats right now, I'd be thinking about a review of security and thinking about a gap they might have," Jeremy Stewart told CBC. 

Helen Mawhinney, who told CBC she has been a regular patient at that hospital, isn't worried. 

"If someone came in to my room in the hospital and started wheeling me away, I'd call out to anyone I saw whether they were staff or not, 'Help me, help me!'"

With files from Charles Rusnell

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