Ottawa Police Arrest Chemist After Hotel Evacuation

A chemist was arrested at an Ottawa hotel Wednesday following an overnight police investigation linked to the discovery of dangerous chemicals 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) away in the Halifax area of Nova Scotia.

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Ambulances and police are shown at the scene of a evacuation and police investigation at the Chimo Hotel in Ottawa on Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015. A 42-year-old man was arrested at the hotel Wednesday following an overnight police investigation linked to the discovery of dangerous chemicals 870 miles away in the Halifax area of Nova Scotia. Authorities evacuated two Halifax neighborhoods and the Ottawa hotel, and the suspect was arrested after negotiations with police, said Ottawa Const. Chuck Benoit. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Fred Chartrand)

OTTAWA, Ontario — A chemist was arrested at an Ottawa hotel Wednesday following an overnight police investigation linked to the discovery of dangerous chemicals 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) away in the Halifax area of Nova Scotia.

The type and extent of the chemicals were not immediately disclosed. But authorities considered them serious enough to evacuate two Halifax neighborhoods and the Ottawa hotel, and the suspect was arrested after negotiations with police, said Ottawa Const. Chuck Benoit.

A senior government official said the suspect is a chemist with no known criminal record but was in possession of highly toxic chemicals. The man's wife notified police because of her concern about his irregular behavior, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police were alerted to a suspicious package in the Halifax neighborhood of Cole Harbour, eventually leading to the evacuation of homes Tuesday morning. The package was determined to contain hazardous materials but not explosives, the RCMP said on its Twitter account. Five homes in Halifax's Grand Desert community were also evacuated as police found hazardous and volatile materials there as well.

Late Tuesday night, Ottawa police went to the Chimo hotel after learning of a threat, Benoit said, without specifying what the threat entailed. Tactical and hazardous material teams moved in and evacuated the eight-story property, sending guests to other hotels.

Benoit said police made contact with the suspect early Wednesday morning.

"The negotiation went on and the individual exited the unit where he was staying on the sixth floor, and an arrest was made without incident," Benoit said, adding that his car was also searched.

Benoit said the man has not been charged. They declined to release his name.

 

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