TORONTO - A 17-year-old boy wanted as the suspected “ringleader” in the recent gang war kidnapping of two teen boys has been nabbed.
Toronto Police have been hunting the accused teen and a man, 23, since last month when members of the Young Buck Killas allegedly abducted and tortured two boys, 17, after a gun battle with a rival street gang at a condo near the Rogers Centre.
“We kicked in the door of a residence in North York last night,” Staff-Insp. Mike Earl, who heads up the Holdup Squad, said Thursday.
He said the wanted teen was “hiding out” at a home near Leslie St. and Sheppard Ave. E. — not far from another home that was raided earlier in the kidnapping investigation.
ETF officers and members of the Gun and Gang Unit took the boy into custody.
Earl said the accused will face charges for the kidnapping. But he wasn’t immediately able to say if any charges will be laid against anyone for helping him evade capture.
The boy’s name and photo were released last week after cops sought a court order, but he can no longer be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Investigators believe the kidnapping was precipitated by a shootout involving YBK and the Queens Drive Crips that unfolded April 19 in the 25th-floor hallway of 300 Front St. W.
In the aftermath of the gunfight, alleged members of YKB blamed the two young victims for tipping off rivals about a party they were attending in the condo.
Earl has said the two boys “feared for their lives” as they were tied to chairs, beaten, and forced to play Russian roulette with a loaded gun and perform sex acts while they were held captive for several days at various homes in the city.
The victims were only released after their families paid a ransom to their captors.
The investigation so far has led to the recovery of a handgun as well as the arrests of Akil Whyte, 23, Deshawn Walters, 18, and a boy, 16, on gun charges.
Quinton Gardiner, 19, was also arrested for the kidnapping and firearms offences. Gardiner is an aspiring rapper known as Pressa and suspected YBK leader, according to police.
Sources say Gardiner’s brother, Chermar, was one of YBK’s leaders when he was arrested at 19 in 2011 during Project Marvel — an operation that targeted the gang’s gun and drug pipeline stretching from Toronto to the West Coast.
Chermar is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence.
Their father, Mark, was paroled in 2014 after spending 18 years behind bars for the 1996 murder of Dave Williams, 26, who was volunteering as a doorman at a dance for high schoolers in the city’s west end.
Late last week, cops arrested Michael Hollinger, 51, for allegedly allowing YBK members to confine the two kidnapping victims in his Lawrence Heights home.
“We’re still looking for the 23-year-old man who we believe was involved in the kidnapping,” Earl said.
Lincoln Richards, who raps using the name Ranski Gleechie, has known ties to the Windsor area but police have yet to track him down.
Richards’ grandmother, mom and sister — who Earl believes were present during a portion of the abduction — are also sought.
“The whole family disappeared after the kidnapping,” he said.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Richards or his family members should call the Holdup Squad at 416-808-7450 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.