Man who held kid at knifepoint in Surrey school-yard found not criminally responsible

Man who held kid at knifepoint in Surrey school-yard found not criminally responsible

A Surrey man who held an elementary school student at knifepoint in October has been found not criminally responsible for his actions due to a mental disorder.

Omar Moustapha Hassan, 37, was charged with hostage taking, uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose and assault with a weapon.

According to court records, a judge made the finding during an appearance Tuesday in provincial court in Surrey. Two charges of breaching a probation order were also stayed.

On Oct. 31, Hassan, armed with a knife, entered the schoolyard at Ecole Gabrielle Roy around 12:45 p.m. and grabbed a Grade 4 student. It was lunch recess and children were outside playing.

Two teachers, helped by older students, herded children into the school and the teachers called 911.

Police arrived at the school and negotiated the boy’s release. Hassan was then Tasered and arrested. No students or staff were hurt during the incident.

Surrey RCMP said at the time that Hassan was well known to police and had a history of mental instability.

Within 45 days of the judge’s decision, the B.C. Review Board must hold a hearing to assess how much of a threat Hassan poses to society.

Based on evidence presented at the hearing, the board issues an order with one of three possible dispositions: absolute discharge, conditional discharge or detention in a psychiatric hospital.

If Hassan is released on a conditional discharge or detained, the B.C. Review Board must reassess his case at least every 12 months.

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jensaltman@theprovince.com

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