|Police at the scene of a standoff in Whitby on October 16, 2012. (CRAIG ROBERTSON/QMI Agency)
TORONTO - Dispute over "intellectual property" might have prompted events that led to former Oshawa, Ont., councillor Robert Lutczyk allegedly being involved in a standoff with police in Whitby, Ont., former Oshawa mayor John Gray said.
Gray confirmed to QMI Agency that Lutczyk was the person Durham police had surrounded since 1:47 a.m. Tuesday inside an auto repair business in connection with the kidnapping of Oshawa city solicitor David Potts from Clarington, Ont., hours earlier.
Citing police as his source, Gray confirmed Lutczyk was also believed to be armed and that police outside the building were "trying to convince him not to blow his head off."
The "intellectual property," said Gray, could include Lutczyk's involvement while on council with plans to bring the University of Ontario Institute of Technology to Oshawa, as well as architectural drawings Lutczyk had obtained for an addition to city hall that Gray said were never used.
Potts was abducted Monday night from Clarington after a city council meeting, reports said. He apparently freed himself unharmed a few hours later.
The owner of the industrial building said Lutczyk leased space in the building at the beginning of the month, and was using it to convert a full-sized coach bus into a motor home.
Lutczyk "seemed like a reasonable chap," Jim Broughton said.
Both Oshawa Councillor Bruce Wood and Lutczyk's longtime friend Jack Snedden were at the scene of the standoff Tuesday, just behind the police barrier.
Wood said Snedden had possibly been brought in by police in case they needed someone close to Lutczyk to talk the former councillor into surrendering.
Snedden, an insurance broker, denied that, however, saying he had heard about the standoff through Gray.
"It's a shock, I don't understand any of it," Snedden said. "I mean, the guy has taught at Durham College, so it's not what you'd expect."
Snedden, who said Lutczyk testified on his behalf after he faced charges for dismantling legally-placed beaver traps last year, claimed to know nothing in terms of Lutczyk's relationship with Potts.
Woods called Lutczyk a "great guy," who has been operating a bed and breakfast since losing re-election to city council last year.
"For Robert, this is out of character," said Woods. "And I certainly hope that (Potts) is OK."
Woods also said he is unaware of any issues currently before council that would involve Lutczyk.
However, he was vague when asked if Lutczyk took his re-election loss hard.
"He wasn't as popular as what you'd think," he said, but added that Lutczyk was a "passionate" member of council.