Police use Taser on man who claimed he left bomb at hotel

By Ian Elliot
Local News - Tuesday, December 28, 2004 @ 07:00

A man with a history of mental illness led Kingston Police around the city last night before he was taken down and arrested outside police headquarters three hours after he first alarmed authorities with a call saying he was armed and suicidal.

The drama started when a 34-year-old man called police on his cellphone and claimed he was armed with a handgun and intended to kill himself and anyone who tried to stop him around 5:30 p.m.

He hinted he was at an address on Kingscourt Avenue. Uniformed units and the force’s emergency response unit surrounded a residence there.

After cordoning off the area, they found the man wasn’t there.

Calls continued throughout the evening and the man made various claims that he possessed explosives and had left bombs at various locations.

Staff-Sgt. Mike Attwood, who said he has had extensive dealings with the man over the years, convinced him to come downtown where police quickly staked out an area around police headquarters and were ready to arrest him.

“He agreed to come down to the police station and see me and we’d have a coffee and talk,” said Attwood.

“In his last phone call, he claimed to be at the Holiday Inn and so we had officers all around the area.”

The officers saw a man matching the suspect’s description enter the Tim Hortons on Ontario Street and walk out with a coffee.

Instead of going to police headquarters, he started to walk back in the direction of the hotel and police moved in, subduing him with a Taser.

He was carrying a white plastic bag containing an extra pair of boots but possessed no explosives or other weapons.

After he was arrested, the man claimed that he had left a bomb in the pool area of the Holiday Inn. That area was cleared while uniformed officers swept the area and cut open a locker but no explosives were found.

The individual was questioned by police but was intoxicated and difficult to make sense of.

“He was very intoxicated and we’ve dealt with him before,” Attwood said of the man.

“He’s mentally unstable with violent tendencies. Our dealings with him have been fairly consistent over the years.”

No one was hurt during the arrest. He was not charged last night, but was taken to hospital for a psychiatric assessment after being taken into custody.