Newborn Taken, Woman Held In Assault With Bear Spray

Police say the attacker met the new mom on Facebook
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2021 2:47 PM CDT
Newborn Taken, Woman Held In Assault With Bear Spray
A newborn.   (

A Canadian woman is accused of kidnapping a newborn after overpowering a family with bear spray. Police say the accused met the new mom on Facebook and brought over a gift on Friday. She returned to her Ottawa home Sunday afternoon with bear spray, CTV News reports. According to police, Nicole Shanks, 32, of Quebec, forced her way past the family, grabbed the 8-day-old baby, and ran. Neighbors heard the very un-Canadian commotion and rushed over to help, holding the alleged kidnapper until police arrived. The infant is fine, the CBC reports.

Paramedics treated the other family members, none of whom were seriously injured. Staff Sgt. Martin Groulx of the Ottawa police said Shanks got the victim’s address via Facebook. Her Friday visit was under the pretext that the new mom had won a prize. Ottawa police aren’t sure whether the accused has been in contact with other new moms, nor what her motives were, and are encouraging anyone with information to reach out. Groulx says police recommend that people meeting strangers from the Internet should do so in a public place instead of their homes, Global News reports. " You never know who is on the other side of the screen," he says. (More weird crimes stories.)

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