Man arrested after SUV stolen outside Winnipeg hospital while 88-year-old was in passenger seat

A 25-year-old man is facing a number of charges, including kidnapping and robbery, after allegedly stealing an SUV outside Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre as an 88-year-old man sat in the passenger seat, police said Friday.

Ernie Haak said earlier this week that he pulled up to the hospital to drop off his father, 88-year-old Henrik Haak, for an appointment just before 9:30 a.m. on Monday.

Ernie left his SUV running while he went to ask hospital staff if they could bring out a wheelchair for his father. 

In the few seconds he was away from his vehicle, a masked thief jumped in and took off — with Henrik still in the passenger seat. 

Ernie Haak says his SUV was stolen from Health Sciences Centre’s parking loop Monday morning with his father still inside. (Jaison Empson/CBC)

Security at HSC phoned 911, and shortly after, police said they found Henrik near Notre Dame Avenue and Maryland Street.

“They basically pushed him out of the car,” Ernie said Monday. 

Henrik sustained some bumps and bruises, but is otherwise OK, Ernie said at the time. He has dementia, so will likely not remember much about the incident.

The stolen SUV rammed two police vehicles and drove away at a high speed when officers tried to stop it, police said.

The driver got away and later, police found the vehicle abandoned in the Daniel McIntyre neighbourhood.

The 25-year-old accused was arrested Thursday afternoon, police said.

He is now facing a number of charges, including kidnapping, robbery, four counts of assaulting a peace officer with a weapon and flight while pursued by a peace officer.

He’s been detained in custody.

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