Whitby standoff ends with ex-councillor in custody

A police standoff involving a former Oshawa, Ont., city councillor and the abduction of the city's top lawyer has ended safely, police confirmed.

Former Oshawa, Ont., councillor charged with kidnapping

Former Oshawa city councillor Robert Lutczyk, shown in this file photo, will face numerous charges in connection with a kidnapping and police standoff in Whitby, Ont. (Courtesy Oshawa This Week)

A former Oshawa, Ont., city councillor is in custody and has been charged with numerous offences, including kidnapping, after a day-long police standoff in nearby Whitby.


  • kidnapping using restricted firearm
  • uttering threats to cause bodily harm
  • forcible confinement
  • flight from police
  • dangerous operation of a motor vehicle
  • use of firearm in the commission of an offence & pointing firearm.

The standoff began at 2 a.m. Tuesday, just hours after it was revealed a solicitor for the City of Oshawa had been abducted outside his home on Monday night.

Police say the suspected kidnapper, later identified as former Oshawa city councillor Robert Lutczyk, barricaded himself inside a repair shop he was renting at 401 Hopkins Rd., an industrial area of Whitby, for almost 30 hours.

The suspect in a police standoff in Whitby, Ont., that ended Wednesday morning rented space at this garage on Hopkins Road. (Trevor Dunn/CBC)

The incident began when the lawyer, identified as David Potts, drove to his home in nearby Clarington after Monday night's Oshawa City Council meeting.

Police said Potts was abducted at gunpoint outside his house shortly after he arrived.

Potts'  wife saw her husband's car in the driveway at around 11 p.m., but when he didn't come into the house, she phoned police.

Police then began a search for the suspect's car and spotted it shortly before 2 a.m. Tuesday in the parking lot of an inn near Consumer Drive and Thickson Road in Whitby.

Police say they followed the vehicle to a garage where police confronted the suspect. At this point Potts, who was in handcuffs, managed to escape.

Lutczyk fled inside the garage and the standoff began.

Potts was not hurt in the incident and the Lutczyk surrendered peacefully by walking out of the garage Wednesday morning, police say.

The owner of the repair shop where the standoff took place told CBC News that Lutczyk rented shop space to work on a recreational vehicle.

Not clear what prompted dispute

Police would not say specifically what caused the dispute between Lutczyk and Oshawa's city solicitor.

"The suspect was upset with the victim over some business matters he had with the city of Oshawa," said Durham Regional Police Supt. Brian Osborne.  

Lutczyk has been ordered held in custody.

Rich White, a friend of Lutczyk's who spoke to CBC on Wednesday, said he's grateful the standoff ended peacefully and that his friend is safe.

"I think he put himself into a corner where he just didn’t know how to get out of it," the man told CBC. "I'm really glad that he's OK right now and I'll be there to support him. Now it’s how to help him out and how to help the family out."