The incident took place Friday afternoon in Portage La Prairie. Bailee Scott was out with her daughter when she saw a man who appeared to be having a heart attack.
“He looked very much in distress, assuming that my window or my doors were locked I stopped beside him,” Scott told Global News this week.
“He’s waving me down and he’s mumbling something through the window that I rolled it down just a crack. And I heard ‘heart attack.’”
Scott said before she knew it the man was inside her car. “He was yelling about something, so. I told him to get out. I have my child in the car. He said he didn’t care and to ‘just drive.’”
Her daughter was sitting in the back of the car watching a movie. “I don’t think she was too bothered by anything,” Scott said.
Scott then called 911 but as she started to explain what was happening she said the man snatched her phone. “He grabs the phone and starts yelling and throws my phone to the floor. And just tells me to drive.”
Scott said she began to drive and as she was doing so, she kept asking the man if she could have her phone to call her husband.
“Eventually I convinced him, you know, I’m supposed to just go and get the mail. I’m like ‘if I don’t tell him, I’m just running to Winnipeg really quickly he’ll call the police and they’ll come looking for us.’”
“So that’s when he finally said, ‘OK, call him, but tell him that you’re just driving somebody to Winnipeg quick and you’ll be right back.’”
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It was during this call that Scott’s husband started to realize something was up. “He asks, Are you OK? I didn’t answer. And that’s when he asked, ‘Do you need me to call somebody?’ And I said, yes.” The husband then called 911.
Scott said as she was driving with the man he began to talk to her and tell her stories about how he was in trouble, she described his behavior as ‘frazzled’ almost like he was scared of something.
“He was talking fast. Completely out of breath. So going back to the beginning, it did seem like he was having a heart attack the way he was out of breath and hunched over.”
“He was very mumbly and would tell some of the story and then kind of stop and be silent for a while.”
At one point, Scott looked over at the man – he told her not to look at him and to just focus on the road and drive.
Scott said she tried speeding at one point to catch the attention of the police but the man caught on to what she was doing. “He asked if that was my plan. ‘Is that your plan to get us pulled over?’ So I just said ‘no, I have a heavy foot.’”
She said the man made no direct threats but the situation itself was very threatening.
“The worst thoughts go through your mind in that kind of situation.”
Scott said the man kept expressing his need for a cab and they drove around Winnipeg looking for cabs.
“He wanted me to check a parking garage, which made me extremely uncomfortable because he said, Cab’s parked there, but I’m pretty sure cabs do not park in parking garages.”
Eventually, the man got out of her car after finding a cab in a store parking lot and after he exited the vehicle Scott said she sped off immediately.
She then pulled over in a parking lot in the Polo Park area and called her husband and the cops to let them know she was safe. “I just immediately started crying,” she said.
Manitoba RCMP commended Scott for remaining so calm and preventing the situation from potentially being much worse. “We’ve got to give the mom a lot of credit here,” said Insp. Paul Peddle.
“She was in a very chaotic, traumatic situation with her child and she had the courage to make the right decisions in these stressful situations.”
Scott said she is thankful her husband sensed something was up. “That poor man – getting the phone call was, I’m sure, awful.”
&© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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