‘She stole my baby’: Woman arrested in Ottawa after alleged baby snatching and bear spray attack on Mother’s Day

OTTAWA—It was more of a taste than a smell. And then there was the screaming. It was Mother’s Day, around 1:40 p.m., when Hailey Frobel heard her neighbour’s cries. Frobel said she saw her in the backyard of her townhouse. She was covered in an “orange-brown” liquid that gave off fumes that were so potent they made Frobel’s two-year-old son vomit. And she was “screaming for help,” Frobel said. “She said, ‘My baby was stolen — she stole my baby,’” Frobel said. “I called 911.”According to Ottawa police, a woman “forcefully” entered a townhouse in the west end of the city on Sunday afternoon and used bear spray to “subdue” the people inside. Then she abducted an eight-day-old baby boy and left, police said. Neighbours such as Frobel heard the commotion and intervened, and one of them was able to chase the assailant to a nearby grocery store, where police said she was prevented from leaving until they arrived and arrested her. Paramedics examined the baby and determined he was unharmed, police said.The baby’s mother declined an interview with the Star on Monday. However, a person who said they are the infant’s mother posted about the incident on Facebook.She said that a woman posted in a group for mothers on Facebook that she had a free basket to give away. “When she got to my house to drop it off she bear maced me in the face and screamed that I stole her baby,” she wrote.She said she ran after the assailant, who was claiming the newborn baby was hers and that she was bringing him home. The woman said the assailant seemed to be delusional. “When I (realized) she ... thought it was her baby I knew she wouldn’t hurt him, so instead of tugging at him I took off screaming for help,” she wrote. “My neighbours and his sons are heroes. They took off after her as she was putting my son into her car ... I heard them all scream ... we got the baby!!!! So my heart went back into my body.”Nicole Shanks, 32, faces 10 charges, including three counts of administering a noxious substance with the intent to endanger life; abducting a person under 14; assault; assault with a weapon; breaking and entering; harassment; carrying a concealed weapon; and possession of a dangerous weapon.None of the allegations have been proven in court.Ottawa police said Monday that investigators believe Shanks may have been in contact with other new mothers on social media and that their investigation continues. Early Monday afternoon, a man who answered the phone at Shanks’ residence in Shawville, Que., identified himself as Shanks’ father from Barrie, Ont.He said the family was completely in the dark as to what was going on.“I’m at a loss right now,” he said. “This completely caught us off guard.”The man said he was alerted at 4 a.m. Monday morning to Shanks’ arrest by one of her friends via Facebook message, and that he then drove several hours to Shawville to look after his three grandchildren. The man said what Shanks was being accused of was completely out of character.“I don’t know what’s happened,” he said. Alex Ballingall is an Ottawa-based reporter covering federal politics for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @aballingaDouglas Quan is a Vancouver-based reporter for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @dougquan

‘She stole my baby’: Woman arrested in Ottawa after alleged baby snatching and bear spray attack on Mother’s Day

OTTAWA—It was more of a taste than a smell.

And then there was the screaming.

It was Mother’s Day, around 1:40 p.m., when Hailey Frobel heard her neighbour’s cries. Frobel said she saw her in the backyard of her townhouse. She was covered in an “orange-brown” liquid that gave off fumes that were so potent they made Frobel’s two-year-old son vomit. And she was “screaming for help,” Frobel said.

“She said, ‘My baby was stolen — she stole my baby,’” Frobel said. “I called 911.”

According to Ottawa police, a woman “forcefully” entered a townhouse in the west end of the city on Sunday afternoon and used bear spray to “subdue” the people inside. Then she abducted an eight-day-old baby boy and left, police said.

Neighbours such as Frobel heard the commotion and intervened, and one of them was able to chase the assailant to a nearby grocery store, where police said she was prevented from leaving until they arrived and arrested her.

Paramedics examined the baby and determined he was unharmed, police said.

The baby’s mother declined an interview with the Star on Monday.

However, a person who said they are the infant’s mother posted about the incident on Facebook.

She said that a woman posted in a group for mothers on Facebook that she had a free basket to give away. “When she got to my house to drop it off she bear maced me in the face and screamed that I stole her baby,” she wrote.

She said she ran after the assailant, who was claiming the newborn baby was hers and that she was bringing him home.

The woman said the assailant seemed to be delusional. “When I (realized) she ... thought it was her baby I knew she wouldn’t hurt him, so instead of tugging at him I took off screaming for help,” she wrote.

“My neighbours and his sons are heroes. They took off after her as she was putting my son into her car ... I heard them all scream ... we got the baby!!!! So my heart went back into my body.”

Nicole Shanks, 32, faces 10 charges, including three counts of administering a noxious substance with the intent to endanger life; abducting a person under 14; assault; assault with a weapon; breaking and entering; harassment; carrying a concealed weapon; and possession of a dangerous weapon.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Ottawa police said Monday that investigators believe Shanks may have been in contact with other new mothers on social media and that their investigation continues.

Early Monday afternoon, a man who answered the phone at Shanks’ residence in Shawville, Que., identified himself as Shanks’ father from Barrie, Ont.

He said the family was completely in the dark as to what was going on.

“I’m at a loss right now,” he said. “This completely caught us off guard.”

The man said he was alerted at 4 a.m. Monday morning to Shanks’ arrest by one of her friends via Facebook message, and that he then drove several hours to Shawville to look after his three grandchildren.

The man said what Shanks was being accused of was completely out of character.

“I don’t know what’s happened,” he said.

Alex Ballingall is an Ottawa-based reporter covering federal politics for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @aballinga

Douglas Quan is a Vancouver-based reporter for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @dougquan

Source : Toronto Star More   

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Amur Tiger cub dies days after birth at Toronto Zoo

It was a difficult weekend for the Toronto Zoo after a days-old Amur Tiger cub died on Sunday. The zoo announced the cub’s death in a Facebook post Monday, saying he was found lethargic on Friday and had been separated from the other two cubs by his mother, Mazy. The cubs were born on April 30.When animal care staff observed this behaviour they brought the cub into the zoo’s Wildlife Health Centre’s Intensive Care Unit, the Facebook post said. Veterinary teams worked around the clock on the cub who was unconscious, severely hypothermic and dehydrated. After running blood tests, staff determined that the cub had “severe liver damage and life-threatening electrolyte imbalances due to dehydration,” the post said. A Veterinary Radiology Specialist conducted an ultrasound which determined the cub had hepatitis, due to a bacterial infection of the its liver. “Since he remained without suckling reflex, a gastric tube was used to feed him every three hours,” the post read. To keep the cub comfortable, staff gave him a stuffed animal toy that had a heartbeat to mimic that of his mother.By Sunday, the cub’s condition had not improved and he was showing signs of severe liver failure and other problems. Staff then made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize him, the post said. “He fought very hard over those 48 hours and we are so proud of our entire team who heroically did everything to stabilize and improve the condition of this little male cub,” the Facebook post said. Zoo staff confirmed that Mazy’s two surviving cubs are doing well.The Amur Tiger is an endangered species, with fewer than 500 found in the wildBreanna Xavier-Carter is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Reach her via email: bxavier@thestar.ca

Amur Tiger cub dies days after birth at Toronto Zoo

It was a difficult weekend for the Toronto Zoo after a days-old Amur Tiger cub died on Sunday.

The zoo announced the cub’s death in a Facebook post Monday, saying he was found lethargic on Friday and had been separated from the other two cubs by his mother, Mazy. The cubs were born on April 30.

When animal care staff observed this behaviour they brought the cub into the zoo’s Wildlife Health Centre’s Intensive Care Unit, the Facebook post said.

Veterinary teams worked around the clock on the cub who was unconscious, severely hypothermic and dehydrated. After running blood tests, staff determined that the cub had “severe liver damage and life-threatening electrolyte imbalances due to dehydration,” the post said.

A Veterinary Radiology Specialist conducted an ultrasound which determined the cub had hepatitis, due to a bacterial infection of the its liver.

“Since he remained without suckling reflex, a gastric tube was used to feed him every three hours,” the post read.

To keep the cub comfortable, staff gave him a stuffed animal toy that had a heartbeat to mimic that of his mother.

By Sunday, the cub’s condition had not improved and he was showing signs of severe liver failure and other problems. Staff then made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize him, the post said.

“He fought very hard over those 48 hours and we are so proud of our entire team who heroically did everything to stabilize and improve the condition of this little male cub,” the Facebook post said.

Zoo staff confirmed that Mazy’s two surviving cubs are doing well.

The Amur Tiger is an endangered species, with fewer than 500 found in the wild

Breanna Xavier-Carter is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Reach her via email: bxavier@thestar.ca

Source : Toronto Star More   

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