Bail for accused abductor 0
Harold Dean leaves a Barrie court Friday after being released on bail on kidnapping charges. The 81-year-old man was already out on bail on previous charges of sexual assault against another young woman. (Tracy McLaughlin Photo)
BARRIE – An 81-year-old man charged in a bizarre kidnapping incident that has left a young woman terrified was released on bail Friday.
A white-haired Harold George Dean, of Collingwood, hobbled out of the prisoner’s box after an officer snapped off his handcuffs and set him free.
There is a ban on publication of the evidence heard at the bail hearing, where special audio equipment was needed to assist Dean who has hearing trouble.
Huronia West OPP say they responded to a 911 call from a woman who claims she was forced into his car while she was walking along Hogback Road in the village of New Lowell, west of Barrie August 5. Police say the woman was driven around for a while and made an escape when the car came to a stop.
In a private interview Friday, the woman, whose identity is protected under a court order, said she is afraid to leave her home.
“I used to walk everywhere but now I don’t go out,” said the woman in a soft, timid voice.
She said it was broad daylight as she was happily walking along the country road to visit a friend when suddenly a car pulled over and the man asked her to get in. Seeing that he was elderly, fear didn’t register in her mind at that moment.
“I just told him no, and walked away,” she said. “Suddenly he grabbed me by my back pack and we struggled and he pushed and forced me into his car and took off,” she said. Dumbfounded and frightened, she struggled to jump out the passenger door but he hit the automatic lock.
“He was swearing and yelling at me. He kept slowing down and looking for some trail off the road … he told me I was going to be staying with him for a while,” she said, her voice shaky from recalling the experience. “I didn’t know if I should hit him or if he would hit me back with something, or if we would crash.”
She said finally he made a stop and she made her getaway, running for her life to a nearby house as he turned around and came driving after her.
“I was banging on the door but there was no answer,” she said.
Breathless and with her heart pounding, she hid on the terrace of the home until the man finally gave up and drove away and she ran to a nearby store to call police.
“I was shaking,” she said. “It all blows my mind. I am afraid to go anywhere now … did he get out of jail?”
Court records show Dean is no stranger to the courts. At the time of the alleged kidnapping, Dean was already out on bail after being charged with sexually assaulting a young woman in January 2012 and that matter is still before the courts. In 2009 Dean was convicted of one count of assault and received a suspended sentence with two years probation. In August of 2001 Dean was convicted of sexual assault and was sentenced to 18 months of probation. In 1996 he was convicted of assaulting a police officer and received a $200 fine. His next court date is October 9.