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Man jumped out of moving U-Haul to escape kidnapper during high-speed chase, Toronto police say

The victim of an alleged gunpoint kidnapping that spurred a police chase through the streets of the Greater Toronto Area on Wednesday jumped out of a moving vehicle to escape his abductor, according to new details later released by police.

Toronto police officers were in the area of Danforth and Warden avenues in Scarborough at around 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday as part of an investigation into the Dec. 6 stabbing of an off-duty officer, the service said.

In a police release issued Thursday, it was alleged that, unbeknownst to officers at the time, one of three suspects in the stabbing had just forced his way into a nearby apartment, taken a man at gunpoint, and forced the victim into a stolen U-Haul.

While police initially said Wednesday the abducted individual was brought to safety before the suspect fled in the vehicle, the release revealed that the victim was actually inside the U-Haul when the chase ensued.

Shortly after, police located the suspect in the U-Haul and attempted to stop the vehicle. Police say, however, that the suspect refused to stop and purposely accelerated into two police vehicles.

Police said two officers were struck, with one sustaining minor injuries. The accused then allegedly hit a number of civilian vehicles in an attempt to evade the officers.

Following at a safe distance, police said the accused briefly slowed down to make a turn at Kennedy and Ellesmere roads, when the victim jumped from the vehicle. They did not sustain any injuries.

At that time, multiple police units, including a helicopter belonging to York Regional Police, were dispatched. The helicopter “followed the accused into Durham Region and then back into Toronto.”

The accused then allegedly continued to “drive recklessly, at high speeds, running multiple red lights, driving onto sidewalks, into oncoming traffic, and hitting several vehicles and a cyclist” as it made its way into the downtown core.

At one point, police said the accused put his vehicle into reverse, “purposely striking an unmarked police vehicle in the area of Yonge and Jordan streets.”

Members of Toronto police’s Emergency Task Force were able to block the vehicle in the area of Carleton and Church streets in downtown Toronto and took the accused into custody.

A panel truck is shown in downtown Toronto following a pursuit on Wednesday afternoon. (Francis Gibbs)

An airsoft pistol was recovered from the scene, they said.

In relation to Wednesday’s event, Toronto resident Jim Kaluzovski, 47, has been charged with:

  • Break and Enter
  • Point Firearm
  • Assault with Weapon x 4
  • Threaten Bodily Harm
  • Carry Concealed Weapon
  • Kidnapping
  • Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over
  • Dangerous Operation Causing Bodily Harm
  • Assault Peace Officer and Caused Bodily Harm
  • Assault Peace Officer
  • Dangerous Operation x 7
  • Leave Accident Scene – Fail to Assist x 8

As part of the investigation into the stabbing of the off-duty police officer, Kaluzovski was also charged with:

  • Robbery with a Weapon
  • Aggravated Assault on a Peace Officer
  • Assault with a Weapon
  • Weapons Dangerous
  • Carry a Concealed Weapon
  • Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over
  • Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Under x 2

Three suspects remain outstanding in the stabbing investigation.

Kaluzovski made his first court appearance in Toronto on Thursday. The charges have not been tested in court.

“We are very fortunate with how this incident ended,” Abdel-Malik said after the chase on Wednesday.

“There were no members of the public that were injured, there were some minor injuries to some officers but overall it was a good conclusion to this event.”

Police are asking anyone with information to contact investigators at 416-808-4300, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477) or at www.222tips.com. 

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