'Pushing the child in': Man describes witnessing alleged abduction
LONDON, ONT. -- Testimony continued Wednesday at the trial of 68-year-old Lawrence Thompson, who has pleaded not guilty in connection with an alleged abduction and assault.
A 65-year-old London man who was with his wife driving in the area where the four-year-old was allegedly kidnapped, testified he saw a struggle between an older man and a child.
He described seeing a bronze-coloured Chevrolet Impala stopped at the intersection of Barker Street and Melsandra Avenue with the driver's side door wide open.
"I see that there's something unusual," as a man wearing a plaid shirt was putting a child into the vehicle horizontally on the driver's side.
The witness added, "He was sideways trying to get the child into the vehicle…When I looked more directly all I saw was the child's shoes and the lower part of the leg…a female."
He continued, "It looked like he was actually pushing the child in…it didn't look like an easy transfer."
He was then following behind the car for three blocks as he headed for a local church and said, "The car was driving erratic…he was using both lanes…it suggested to me there was activity in the vehicle that was hampering the driver or the driver was intoxicated."
After both vehicles pulled into the church parking, lot the witness says the Impala "leaves in a hurry…and he's travelling quickly."
At that point he and his wife called police. "There was adult male, a child and a struggle - enough concern that the police needed to be notified…I'm rattled because we're wondering about the child."
He says he regretted not getting the licence plate number, "I'm thinking this might be a child abduction case…that's my concern."
He was interviewed by police that day and again the next day while out birdwatching.
Thompson has pleaded not guilty to four counts including abduction of a person under the age of 14, kidnapping, sexual assault of a person under 16 and sexual interference of a person under 16.
None of the charges has been proven in court and the trial continues.