Teens kidnapped, threatened, forced to strip in vigilante 'nightmare'

Two men are facing charges including sexual assault, forcible confinement, uttering threats and more in what police are calling a case of vigilante justice.

Ordeal began when 2 men spotted teens stealing from cars, Gatineau police say

Gatineau police major crimes investigators have arrested two men in what they're calling a case of vigilante justice. (CBC)

Two men are facing charges including sexual assault, forcible confinement, uttering threats and more in what police are calling a case of vigilante justice.

The bizarre sequence of events began just after midnight on July 2, police in Gatineau, Que., said in a media release issued Wednesday.

According to police, three teenagers, all under the age of 16, were trying to steal money from parked vehicles when they were caught in the act by one suspect. The teens tried to run away, but another man who was nearby managed to catch one of them. The first suspect then grabbed the teen by the neck and forced him into a vehicle.

Trapped in the vehicle, the teen gave the two men the addresses of his friends who had escaped. The men then drove to one of the addresses with the teen still in the vehicle.

Teen forced to strip, marched naked

When they arrived at one of the addresses, one suspect stayed in the car with the teen while the other walked up to the home and forced his way inside, police said.

The teen inside the home, who was alone at the time, managed to shut himself inside a bedroom. The man then broke down the bedroom door and dragged the teen outside, police said.

Outside, the first suspect forced the teen to undress and leave his clothes at the side of the road, police said. The teen was then forced to walk naked down the road while the second suspect followed close behind. 

The teen was also forced to walk naked and shoeless through brush, and was shoved into sharp bushes, police said.

3rd teen's parents home

The men then drove both teens to the third teen's house. The first suspect, with the naked teen beside him, banged on the door and barged into the house without being invited, police said.

The man told the third teen's parents, who were home at the time, that he wanted to take the teen and "teach him a lesson," police said. At that point the second suspect entered the house with the first teen.

The third teen's parents finally convinced the two men to leave without the teens, police said.

Police were called and the major crimes unit took charge of the file. The teens suffered only superficial injuries and were referred to victim services for psychological support.

The two men, 37 and 39, were unknown to police. They were arrested and charged with:

  • Two counts of kidnapping.
  • Two counts of forcible confinement.
  • One count of sexual assault.
  • Two counts of breaking and entering.
  • Three counts of assault.
  • Two counts of uttering threats.
  • Two counts of intimidation.

They were expected to appear in court Wednesday afternoon. 

Gatineau police used the event to remind parents to have a frank discussions with their teenagers about the risks associated with committing even petty crimes.

"An adventure to pick up a little pocket money or commit other thefts can quickly turn into a nightmare," Gatineau police warned in French.