Teen in kidnapping case fears for safety: mother
2 teens charged after N.S. youth was allegedly beaten in motel room
A Timberlea, N.S., woman says her family members fear for their safety after her teenage son was allegedly kidnapped and held at gunpoint in a motel two weeks ago.
The woman, whose identity is being withheld to protect her 17-year-old son, alleges two teenagers kidnapped her son and confined him to a room at the Seasons Motor Inn in Halifax on April 26.
Halifax Regional Police Const. Brian Palmeter said two teenagers — an 18-year-old male and a 17-year-old male — have been charged in the case.
According to the victim, the two beat him, threatened him and forced him to take money out of his bank account. He was also forced to take things to sell from his family home and drive the suspects to local pawn shops, he alleges.
"He hasn't been able to return to school because of this incident. It means that we've had to be separated because he is basically being protected outside of Halifax," his mother told CBC News on Monday.
"He's too intimidated and fearful to come back. I panic every time I hear a car door close outside. I can't answer my phone if I can't see who's calling, because I think it might be one of their friends."
The day after the alleged kidnapping, Halifax RCMP arrested an 18-year-old and charged him with forcible confinement and kidnapping, assault with a weapon and several firearms charges.
They were also looking for a 17-year-old, who eventually showed up at a Halifax hospital on Saturday with a gunshot wound to his leg — one of several weekend shooting incidents under investigation.
Palmeter said an officer at the hospital recognized the 17-year-old as the subject of an outstanding warrant for counts including robbery, threats, kidnapping, forcible confinement, assault and weapons offences in connection with the incident at Seasons Motor Inn.
The suspect was treated for non-life-threatening injuries, and later arrested and charged.
The mother of the alleged kidnapping victim told CBC News both of the teens arrested are well known in the community. She believes her son was released only so he could return home and gather more belongings that could be sold.
The woman has since quit her job because she's afraid to go out in public, and she has been staying away from her house for most of the past two weeks.
"We're not exposed to that kind of a lifestyle on a day-to-day basis. We've had a really happy, fun life, and he's done really well in school and he has lots of friends," she said.
"He doesn't have any contact with his friends anymore, he doesn't have his phone to be able to text or communicate with his friends. We almost feel like we're the criminals."
Woman fears bail release
The woman said she convinced her son to go to the police, even though he originally didn't want to because the two suspects had threatened him and his family. She said her son was likely singled out as someone who wouldn't stand up for himself or wouldn't fight back.
"I think the police get a really bad rap because people don't come forward, they don't agree to testify, they don't show up as a witness, and then for some reason it seems to always be the police that take the blame for that," she said.
"The police would love to do things about it, but people have to step forward and they have to get over that fear of feeling that they will be victimized."
The 18-year-old has a bail hearing on Tuesday, when a judge will decide whether he will be let out of jail until his trial.
The woman said she hopes both the 18-year-old and 17-year-old will remain in custody for now.
"At these bail hearings, if these people that have victimized my son so horrifically are allowed to be released back into the community to wait for their trial and wait for their sentencing, then we're the ones that are actually not being allowed to be back in our communities because we're so fearful," she said.