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Former Oshawa councillor in standoff with police after alleged abduction of city solicitor

A police truck leaves a building located on Hopkins Street in Whitby, in the middle of an ongoing police investigation on Oct. 16, 2012.

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

Police in Durham Region are unravelling a bizarre series of events reportedly involving a colourful former city councillor, a late-night abduction and a prolonged standoff.

A section of Hopkins Street in Whitby remains closed as Durham Regional Police try to resolve a standoff related to the abduction of Oshawa's city solicitor Monday night around 11 p.m.

David Potts was returning home from a city council meeting. He pulled into his driveway but never made it to his front door, according to Oshawa Mayor John Henry.

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"He was taken against his will," said Mr. Henry.

The city's top lawyer was driven around for a time. But by 1:47 a.m., he "managed to escape," said Mr. Henry.

Reached at home Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Potts refused to talk about the hair-raising affair. "I hope you understand," he said.

While the mayor said he could see no connection between the abduction and the council agenda that night, he did divulge that it was connected to an ongoing stand-off along Hopkins Street in Whitby.

Durham Regional Police later confirmed that the two events are related.

Officers swarmed an auto-repair business at 401 Hopkins just before 2 a.m. Tuesday morning. Negotiators from Durham and York Regional Police have been trying to coax out the lone man barricaded out ever since.

Former Mayor John Gray told the Globe and Mail the man is former Oshawa councillor Robert Lutczyk. Another source with the city confirmed the identity of the man inside.

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One of the more colourful political figures in GTA politics, Mr. Lutczyk was known for a variety of half-baked motions, such as a proposal that Oshawa annex Turks and Caicos. He was also litigious, according to local newspaper Oshawa This Week, which Mr. Lutczyk repeatedly threatened with lawsuits.

He was voted out of office in 2010 after a seven-year run.

"He had some strange ideas sometimes, but I never would have expected him to do anything like this," said former councillor Louise Parkes, who served alongside Mr. Lutczyk for several years on council. "There was always some logic to his ideas. You didn't get any sense of mental illness or anything."

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About the Author
National reporter

Patrick previously worked in the Globe's Winnipeg bureau, covering the Prairies and Nunavut, and at Toronto City Hall. He is a National Magazine Award recipient and author of the book Mountie In Mukluks. More

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