Father and son escorted off Toronto bus by police after suspected abduction


March 17, 2016

source: globalnews.ca

Jason Thompson has albinism and his four-year-old son does not. Police say someone thought the child was being abducted. Peter Kim reports.

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Jason Thompson took his four-year-old son Xavier to see Zootopia on Tuesday, but when they missed the show — their day went from bad to worse.

The father and son were at Victoria Park subway station, singing Row, Row, Row, Your Boat while waiting for the #12 bus.

As they boarded, Toronto police said another member of the public reported Thompson to police because he has albinism and does not look like his son.

“Someone potentially believed the child had been abducted,” said Const. Jenifferjit Sidhu.

That’s when Thompson said the bus suddenly stopped en route and the driver refused to let anyone off.

“It’s sickening to me that someone would actually take that step,” said Thompson.

“Just as I’m sitting there looking at my phone two police officers are standing outside.”

Thompson said one of the officers came onto the bus and asked him if Xavier was his son, to which he responded that he was, and the officer then asked him to get off the bus.

He said he then asked why he was being singled out and the police officer allegedly told him, “You don’t want to do this here, let’s just get off the bus.”

Thompson said the officer quickly realized he and Xavier were, in fact, related despite having different skin tones.

“I was so dumbfounded, I probably just stood there with my mouth open,” he said.

“The officer knew I was offended and said, ‘It’s okay, it’s okay.’ They kept on reassuring me and were very sympathetic and understanding.”

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Police attempted to follow up with the original caller to get more information, but they did not answer their phone.

“To that person I would say think again. A white guy with a brown kid doesn’t mean that anything is going on. This is Toronto,” said Thompson

“We’re a multi-cultural city, let’s embrace it and relax everyone.”

Thompson said he had to then explain the humiliating situation to his four-year-old.

“I said, ‘Somebody called and said I’m not your daddy and they were worried.’ And he looked at me and said, ‘You are my daddy.’”

Police say they take every call related to children very seriously, and anyone who witnesses anything suspicious should give them a call.

Jason-Xavier-Thompson

Thankfully a day that began horribly ended a bit better for Thompson and his son.

“My son starts crying and the officer was like, ‘Don’t worry we’ll give you a ride home,’” he said.

“So we get back in the patrol car, we’re heading down the street and my son’s like, ‘This is where the bad guys sit’ and the officer’s like, ‘No, the good guys sit there too.’

“We’re good guys right now.”

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