Ottawa

Sexual assault suspect mistakenly released from Ottawa courthouse

A Canada-wide search warrant has been issued for a sexual assault suspect who somehow escaped custody following a court appearance in Ottawa last week.

Brendon Spurrell, 22, considered dangerous, believed to be in Ottawa

A view inside the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre (OCDC) in 2016. A 22-year-old man accused of sexual assault who was detained in the prison was mistakenly released after a court appearance on Monday.

A Canada-wide search warrant has been issued for a sexual assault suspect who somehow escaped custody following a court appearance in Ottawa earlier last week.

Brendon Spurrell, 22, is facing charges including assault and sexual assault. (Ottawa Police Service)

Brendon Spurrell, 22, is facing charges including assault and sexual assault. He's considered dangerous by police.

Spurrell was being detained at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre, but was mistakenly released after being transferred to the Ottawa courthouse for an appearance Friday.

"After that, a warrant was issued for his arrest concerning other matters, and he unfortunately got released by error," said Const. Martin Dompierre of the Ottawa Police Service.

Dompierre said the province is looking into what happened at the courthouse, but declined to share more information — including where Spurrell was last seen — while that investigation is underway.

He did say that Spurrell is still believed to be in Ottawa.

"We're asking for the public's assistance in order to help us locate him," Dompierre said.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of the Attorney General said the AG is working closely with its justice-sector partners to investigate the circumstances that led to Spurrell's release.

Spurrell is considered dangerous and shouldn't be approached, police said. Anyone who sees him should call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Corrections

  • In a previous version of this story, police told CBC News the last court date for Spurrell was Jan. 13, 2020. On Friday, police issued a correction and said his last court date was in fact Friday Jan. 10, 2020.
    Jan 17, 2020 3:31 PM ET