Frantic 911 call played at trial of Toronto man accused of abducting 4-year-old daughter
The frantic 911 call made by an Aurora, Ont., mother moments after her four-year-old daughter was allegedly abducted by the girl’s father on April 18, 2016 was played aloud in court at the trial of Mario Rodrigues.
Rodrigues, 38, is charged with break and enter, abduction, assaulting the child and her mother, and dangerous driving causing bodily harm after the incident, which triggered an Amber Alert.
“My daughter’s been abducted … she’s four, I’m shaking. I need help. Please,” the shocked mother whose identity Global News has chosen to conceal, can be heard saying on the 911 call played in court on Tuesday.
After the mother alleges to the dispatcher that the girl’s father is responsible, she can be heard saying, “I don’t know what’s going on with him. He’s mentally ill. He’s on medication for depression.”
The mother can be heard telling the call taker that the accused is driving a Silver Toyota Sienna, which is believed to be registered to Rodrigues’ father, and tells the dispatcher the phone number of the accused.
A few minutes after the call begins, police can be heard arriving at the townhouse where the mother lived with her daughter, near Yonge and Wellington streets in Aurora, where the abduction occurred.
The 911 call was played during the cross-examination of the mother by Rodrigues’ lawyer, Daniel Brodsky, who is trying to establish that the child’s father suffers from mental health issues. Brodsky already indicated to Justice Mark Edwards that his client, who pleaded not guilty, is not criminally responsible.
The little girl’s mother told the court that the child’s father never lived with them and she always had sole custody of the little girl, although there was no formal arrangement. She also told the court that before the abduction, Rodrigues never said he wanted to have custody of their daughter.
About four hours after the child was abducted, the OPP issued an Amber Alert.
According to an agreed statement of facts read out in court, the father accessed an ATM at a CIBC in Haliburton, which prompted a pursuit involving officers from the Bancroft OPP detachment. It was eventually called off.
Approximately 90 minutes after the Amber Alert was triggered, Rodrigues was arrested near Pembroke after allegedly losing control of his minivan on a sharp turn and flipping the vehicle. His daughter was still strapped in her car seat. It took emergency officials about 20 minutes to extricate her from the wreckage before being airlifted to hospital.
The young girl suffered compression fractures to four vertebrae, had multiple pulmonary contusions, and experienced nightmares after the incident.
Rodrigues is out of custody on $75,000 bail and has been driven to court each day by his parents.
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