It was a woman's cries of "help me, help me please," that prompted Leslieville resident Peter Hamilton to rescue a woman from a house where police say she had been confined for days and sexually assaulted.
On Tuesday police announced charges of kidnapping, forcible confinement and assault against Rejean Hermel Perron, 43, alleging he had held and sexually assaulted a 27-year-old woman held inside his house.
On Wednesday Peter Hamilton told CBC's Metro Morning how her heard the woman's desperate cries for help while walking his dog Sunday in the Dundas Street East and Jones Street area.
Hamilton said the woman had managed to reach the front veranda of the house, but could go no further due to restraints around both her hands and feet.
"I heard a cry for help from one of the houses on our street," Hamilton told host Matt Galloway.
Hamilton said the woman was naked from the waist down and struggling to escape. He rushed to the veranda to help.
"She had managed to get to the door," said Hamilton. "She said 'I've been kidnapped and I've been held for five days in this house.'"
"My first thought was 'how do I get her out of here?'"
'I knew this was a dangerous situation'
He wanted to call 911 but had left his house without a cellphone. The woman also told Hamilton that the man now charged was still inside the house and was armed with both a gun and a knife.
"I knew this was a dangerous situation," said Hamilton. "I couldn't leave her, but I could not go back to my house to get my phone."
Hamilton worked to remove the restraints, which were a combination of cloth and packing tape. Hamilton said the woman's arms and legs were bruised.
A heart-stopping moment came when the man suddenly emerged from the house.
Hamilton stood up, preparing himself for a possible confrontation that thankfully didn't happen when the man exited the house and opted to flee down the street.
"This is where it could have taken a turn for the worse," said Hamilton. "He came out and he ran. He saw us and he just ran and that was a very good thing."
Hamilton was able to remove the woman's restraints, using the only implement he had: a nail clipper.
Eventually other passersby heard the commotion and came to help. One had a cellphone and the police were soon called to the scene.
Hamilton said the woman appeared to be in shock, but was able to thank him repeatedly for helping her escape.
She was very emotionally distressed and she said 'I'm sorry I have to put you through this.' There was nothing to apologize for," he said.
The woman was taken to hospital but has since been released and is recovering from her ordeal. Hamilton said he's thankful she's OK.
"It's just the right thing to do," he said of his rescue efforts. "We live in a society where sometimes people turn a blind eye to what's going on around them."
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