Friends and family of a Grade 12 Westview Secondary student are holding a get-together early next month aimed at showing the teen there are decent people in this community, and saying thanks to some who came to her aid during her recent kidnapping and beating.
“What a brave little girl,” said Jennifer Strain, a family friend of the 17-year-old girl who was abducted outside Fox’s Reach Pub on Jan. 19.
She was approached by a man carrying jumper cables, who – she was led to believe – needed help getting his car started.
Instead, she found herself staring down the end of a gun barrel being forced to drive her own car to a secluded area of town, where she was physically assaulted and beaten. She eventually managed to escape her abductor and run to a nearby home where a couple let her in and called police.
“We are so grateful to the couple who opened the door. The family wants to thank them,” Strain said, noting presentations of gratitude will be made at the upcoming “celebration of sorts.”
In addition to the semi-private event being held Feb. 10, Strain said other friends and family are in the process of organizing a fundraiser in this girl’s honour. The money is expected to go towards a new car, since her vehicle was ruined during the abduction.
“We want her to focus on graduating and knowing that there are good people in the world,” Strain said.
In the meantime, a 25-year-old Surrey man was charged last week with seven criminal counts, including kidnapping and assault, in connection with the violent attack.
Ian James William Campbell has been remanded in custody until he appears in Port Coquitlam court Thursday.
The list of charges include kidnapping, producing an imitation firearm, choking, assault, assault with a weapon, unlawful confinement, and auto theft, announced Ridge Meadows RCMP Insp. David Fleugel.
The charges are not the first on Campbell’s record.
In 2008, he began a four-and-a-half-year jail sentence after he led police on a high-speed chase in a stolen SUV in August 2005.
When the SUV was blocked in by police cars, Campbell tried to ram the barricade. New Westminster officer Todd Sweet fired several shots killing Kyle Tait, 16, one of five teens in the SUV.
Campbell was released two years ago after serving two-thirds of his sentence, but was arrested again a few months later for failing a drug test.
During one of his encounters with police, he was found in possession of body armour, a gun, a meat cleaver, handcuffs, a machete, a balaclava, a blond wig, duct tape, ammunition, and rubber gloves.
“I do want to commend our investigative team for their diligence in working around the clock to pull this case together,“ Fleugel said of this recent case.
“I would again like to thank all citizens who provided information that allowed investigators a chance to solve this incident so fast. It speaks to the great relationship Ridge Meadows RCMP has with its citizens, and how we all can pull together to keep our communities safe.”
While police have made an arrest, and received numerous tips, investigators are still inviting other people with information about this matter to contact the local RCMP at 604-463-6251.
-With files from The Province