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The Globe and Mail

Yell scared off alleged abductor; call led to his arrest

A police officer gets out her car on the sidewalk ahead of the G20 summit in Toronto, June 22, 2010.

MARK BLINCH/Mark Blinch/Reuters

Toronto police are crediting the public with interrupting an alleged attempted abduction of a 10-year-old boy on Tuesday.

Robin North said she was leaving her apartment near King Street West and Cowan Avenue when she heard the young boy screaming, "No, no, no." The 36-year-old said she saw the boy was being dragged down the street by the back of his coat.

After yelling from across the street, she approached the boy to ask if he knew the man. The youth quickly said no, Ms. North said. The man then went across the street, entering a bar before hopping on an eastbound streetcar, she said.

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"I didn't really do much. All I did was yell," said Ms. North, who is a writer.

But police thanked the public for the "direct assistance" with the arrest that followed soon after. Ms. North called police once she checked on the boy, updating the dispatcher on the man's whereabouts, including the number of the streetcar that he got on.

Police said 33-year-old Rufus Folkes, from Toronto, was arrested a short distance away. He's charged with assault, attempted abduction of someone under 14 and failing to comply with probation. Mr. Folkes appeared in court on Wednesday.

The boy had been on his way from the library to his grandmother's at around 5 p.m., Ms. North said. During the scuffle, she said his library book fell out of his arms and his knuckles were bleeding. He was shaken up and his grandmother quickly came to meet him after Ms. North called her.

Ms. North said the situation ended well because of the boy's actions. "He did everything right. He yelled and screamed and fought so he was really brave."

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