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UPDATED: Duncan man arrested after attempted abduction of a teenage girl

A Duncan man is in custody and awaiting a March 15 court appearance after what police said was an attempted abduction of a teenage female Saturday near the Cowichan hospital.

Steven Anthony Michael Willson, 21, was arrested late Tuesday evening at a Duncan residence, said RCMP Const. Markus Lueder of the North Cowichan/Duncan detachment.

Police said Willson faces charges of kidnapping, unlawful confinement, criminal harassment and assault.

Those charges stem from an incident on March 5 shortly after 8 p.m., Lueder said.

Cops were told a young male in a white four-door car approached a 17-year-old female waiting at a bus stop on Gibbins Road near Cowichan District Hospital.

“She doesn’t appear to have known him,” noted Lueder.

The male demanded the female get into his vehicle.

She refused, and the male got out of the vehicle in an apparent effort to corral the young woman, Lueder said.

The uninjured female then dropped her purse at the scene and ran toward the hospital where she saw another woman smoking a cigarette outside the building.

The male yelled after the 17-year-old, and appeared to wait for her near the bus stop before leaving the scene.

The male also left the female’s purse behind. It was later recovered with help from the smoker, Lueder explained.

No weapons appear to have been used during the incident, Lueder said.

The young woman gave police a good description of the accosting male and was later able to identify him from a photo line-up at the RCMP detachment. Police located and arrested Willson as the male identified.

“We deal with this guy pretty regularly,” Lueder said of Willson. “He’s a guy who’s just on our radar.”

Police are asking the female smoker who helped the victim to identify herself in confidence to the cops.

Lueder stressed police are not linking this rare, attempted abduction to the recent murder of local teen Tyeshia Jones.

“We’re making no links whatsoever to the Jones case,” said the detachment’s Cpl. Kevin Day.

Anyone with additional information regarding this incident is asked to call the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800 -22 8477.

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