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Gordon Head kidnapping suspect remains in custody

Saanich police say they have found a connection between the 17-year-old victim and the male suspect behind an alleged kidnapping attempt last Monday.

Sgt. Dean Jantzen said police aren’t releasing details, but investigators have found a link and a possible motivation behind the targeted abduction and assault on De Sousa Place in Gordon Head.

The suspect is known to the teen, but Jantzen would only speak to how they aren’t connected – it isn’t family, parental or spousal relationship. “We are comfortable saying this is a targeted attack,” he said.

On Dec. 3 around 6:30 p.m., a masked man somehow got the 17-year-old girl into a white U-Haul cargo van. Neighbours heard her screams and called 9-1-1 and her 17-year-old friend intervened and allowed the victim to escape.

The suspect slashed and cut the girl who intervened, but both teens escaped without serious physical injuries. The man sped off in the van and nearly struck a police cruiser, and eventually abandoned the vehicle at Maria Montessori Academy in the 1800-block of Fairburn Dr.

Saanich and Victoria police learned the name of a possible suspect through the vehicle rental papers from U-Haul. Officers arrested the man at 10:45 p.m. while he was on foot near Cook Street and Hillside Avenue.

Police credit the girl who intervened with saving her friend from abduction, at great personal risk. She was treated at hospital for her injury. The targeted victim was physically unharmed but is deeply traumatized, police say.

"We believe that the direct actions of (her friend) really assisted with allowing the initial victim to escape the vehicle before it actually took off from the scene,”Jantzen said earlier this week.

Kian Chong, 34, of Saanich, is charged with kidnapping, disguising with intent (wearing a mask), two counts of assault with a weapon, and assault causing bodily harm.

Chong is in custody at Vancouver Island Regional Correction Centre and has a bail hearing scheduled for Dec. 20, 9:30 p.m.

editor@saanichnews.com

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