Police standoff linked to kidnapping of Oshawa lawyer

A standoff between police and a man inside an auto repair shop in Whitby, Ont., is linked to an unusual — and as yet unexplained — Monday night abduction.
Police block off a road in Whitby, Ont., where they are negotiating with a man who is believed to have been involved in an abduction. (CBC)

A standoff between police and a man inside an auto repair shop in Whitby, Ont., is linked to an unusual — and as yet unexplained — Monday night abduction.

Late Tuesday night, the drama was continuing to unfold in an area just east of Toronto, where Durham Regional Police say a man has barricaded himself inside the repair shop.  The standoff began just hours after it was revealed a solicitor for the nearby City of Oshawa was abducted from his home on Monday night.

The solicitor, identified as David Potts, drove to his home in Clarington, Ont., after Monday night's council meeting.

According to police, Potts arrived home safely and parked his car but never entered the house.

His wife saw his car in the driveway around 11 p.m., but when he didn't come into the house she phoned police.

"His wife was worried enough to call the police and the police called me," Oshawa Mayor John Henry told reporters on Tuesday.

Henry said Potts had been at the council meeting and that nothing unusual had happened.

Still, Henry said, "police found that Mr. Potts had been taken against his will."

Police said a standoff began at 1:47 a.m. Henry said he was told Potts "managed to escape unharmed" at about 2 a.m.

So far police have not released any information on the identity of the man inside the repair shop, but local media are reporting it is a former city councillor named Robert Lutczyk.

Officially they will only say the two incidents are related and that they are continuing to negotiate with the man who is wanted in connection with the abduction.

Hopkins Street in Whitby has been closed between Consumers Street and Highway 2 as emergency task force officers continue their investigation.