A series of bizarre incidents took place over the weekend in Kelowna, BC. According to RCMP, a former Canadian hockey player tried to abduct a woman’s baby in broad daylight. When he realized he could not get away with it, he stripped naked and tried to swim away from the scene of the crime. The entire incident was crazy and now, the man has been charged.
On the afternoon of Sunday, April 28, a 30-year-old Calgary man and former pro hockey player, Harold Giffen Nyren, allegedly assaulted a toddler at Kerry Park in Kelowna, British Columbia. According to police, RCMP received a call at around 2:27 PM for the report of an assault.
Witnesses at the scene told police that a male had grabbed onto a small child who was with their mother. The man was allegedly trying to take the baby from the woman's care. After a struggle between the man and the woman ensued, the man let go of the baby. This is not where the bizarre story ends.
Shortly after the altercation, the man took off all his clothes and jumped into the water. In an attempt to get away, the man started to swim in the Okanagan Lake that surrounded the park. The man was able to get himself to a log boom, where he then isolated himself.
RCMP officers were on scene attempting to negotiate with the suspect. Eventually, the Kelowna Fire Department’s search and rescue team arrived on the scene and used their rescue vessel to catch the man in the water.
“It certainly was a bizarre incident. We’ve never really seen anything like it here in Kelowna. As a parent myself, I couldn’t imagine what was going through the parents’ heads at the time,” said RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.
Since the incident, a number of videos and images have been posted online. As Kerry Park is a popular spot in Kelowna and right on the edge of downtown, a number of people were around at the time of the incident.
In one of the videos, you can see the man being handcuffed and dragged away from the park. In the video, the man is fully nude.
Warning: This article contains graphic content that might not be suitable for some readers. The video below includes some nudity.
Another photo taken of the scene shows the man sitting on the log boom while officers are attempting to communicate with him.
The man has since been identified as Harold Giffen Nyren of Calgary, Alberta. The BC Prosecution Service has approved criminal charges of assault and willfully resisting or obstructing a police officer.
According to CBC, Nyren has played hockey professionally in the American Hockey League, Western Hockey League, and Alberta Midget Hockey League in multiple Canadian provinces. He has also formally played for both the Kamloops Blazers and Abbotsford Heat.
Nyren was remanded into custody where he appeared for court on April 30. RCMP have stated that the child was not seriously hurt during the incident.
This isn't the only weird baby snatching case we've seen in Kelowna, BC. Back in August 2018, a female intruder attempted to kidnap another Kelowna woman's baby by showing up on her doorstep with a butcher's knife. Just two weeks ago, the intruder pled guilty to the terrifying incident.