Woman in alleged Brampton kidnapping found; suspect still at large

·4 min read

A 23-year-old Brampton woman who was allegedly kidnapped early Sunday morning in Brampton has been found by police. Const. Heather Cannon, Peel police’s media officer, said Monday night that Salina Ouk walked into a Brampton police station earlier that evening. “She appears to be in good health,” said Cannon, who added that Ouk was being treated in hospital for something not related to the abduction. Cannon said that Ouk’s alleged kidnapper Kwami Garwood, 21, was still at large. Ouk’s discovery came the same day Peel police revealed that Ouk and Garwood had travelled in a taxi to Toronto about an hour after they were confronted by police gunfire early Sunday. Earlier on Monday, police released surveillance video showing a red or orange Kia Soul entering a parking lot at 3230 Bayview Ave., around 4 a.m. Sunday near Ruddington Drive and Bayview Avenue, where police say a taxi is believed to have dropped off Ouk and Harwood. Garwood is separately wanted in connection with the July 2020 killing of a 43-year-old Scarborough man. Police say that Garwood should be considered armed and dangerous. The Kia may or may not be involved in the case, but investigators would like to speak with the driver of the vehicle. “We just know that (Ouk and Garwood) were dropped off in that area around 4 a.m., and this vehicle pulled into the parking lot, it stops, then it continues on,” Peel police spokesperson Const. Akhil Mooken said. “That’s why the investigators want to speak to this driver.” The short video shows the Kia entering the empty parking lot with its headlights on, idling for a few seconds out of the full view of the camera’s range, before driving forward, turning around and driving away. Mooken said the police have since spoken to the driver of the taxi. The case is separately being investigated by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) after Peel officers opened fire on Garwood’s vehicle as he allegedly fled with Ouk early Sunday. Officers responded to a call about a man “banging and screaming” at the door of a residence in Adventura Drive, near Mayfield Road and Mississauga Road, at 2:56 a.m. After officers arrived, they heard a female screaming inside the residence. According to the SIU, officers breached the door and followed the screaming to the garage, where they found a man in the driver’s seat of a vehicle and a woman in the backseat. According to the SIU, two officers fired in the direction of the vehicle as the man drove out of the garage, taking the woman with him. The SIU is an independent civilian agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault against an officer. It isn’t known whether anyone was hit by the police gunfire, the SIU news release said. Asked generally about police protocol in such situations, Matt Torigian, former Waterloo Regional Police chief, told the Star that an officer’s choice to pull out and fire a weapon in such an “extreme high-risk” situation where a perceived victim is present can be influenced by a dynamic set of factors. If the officers were approaching the case as a kidnapping, “that’s very serious, to the degree where officers would fear for the safety and well-being of that individual,” he said, adding that it comes down to whether or not the officers believe there is an imminent threat to life or bodily harm to themselves or the person they’re trying to rescue. Mooken said he couldn’t provide any further comment on the officers’ actions while the case is under SIU jurisdiction. He said Garwood is wanted on four outstanding arrest warrants, including a charge of first-degree murder in the July 4, 2020, shooting death of Andre Charles, 43, of Toronto. Toronto police have separately charged one man and a 16-year-old boy in that killing. Police on Sunday said Garwood’s Honda Civic was found a six-minute drive from the initial incident and is being processed for evidence. According to police, Garwood and Ouk had been in a romantic relationship, the length and status of which is being investigated. Anyone who sees Garwood is urged not to approach and to instead call police immediately by dialling 911. With files from Rhythm Sachdeva Jason Miller is a Toronto-based reporter for the Star covering crime and justice in the Peel Region. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him on email: jasonmiller@thestar.ca or follow him on Twitter: @millermotionpic

Jason Miller, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Toronto Star