Road to Nowhere standoff ends, resident arrested

Distraught man faced charges of sexual assault, sexual exploitation


(Updated 3:10 p.m., Jan. 13)

Police will not lay new charges against Mike Netser, the man involved in a three-hour standoff Jan. 12 that shut off access to Iqaluit’s Road to Nowhere subdivision for about three hours.

RCMP did not release the man’s name, but multiple sources in the community confirmed that Netser, 28, was the man who holed up inside an apartment building and refused to come out.

Netser, the son of former Nunavut cabinet minister Patterk Netser, failed to appear in court Jan. 10 to face two counts of sexual assault, one count of sexual exploitation and a charge of being at large without an excuse, an allegation related to a previous absence from a scheduled court appearance.

All three charges are related to incidents alleged to have occurred last year.

“We had a fellow that failed to appear in court and was wanted on a warrant, there was threats made, so we sent a team over to his house and negotiated for him to come out,” said RCMP Supt. Howard Eaton, Jan. 12.

Iqaluit RCMP said in a Jan. 13 news release they received a call around noon Jan. 12 reporting a man who said “I have a gun and will defend myself if the police come near me.”

Police dispatched an emergency response team, dog unit and crisis negotiators to the scene and shut off access to the Road to Nowhere subdivision while they negotiated the man’s surrender without further incident.

A source earlier said police asked nearby apartment dwellers to lie on the floor.

But Eaton said nobody was hurt and he said police cordoned off the area as a precaution.

“Almost all the homes here have guns,” Eaton said.

“We were more or less concerned with his safety and our safety [because] he had made some threats. He was obviously going through an emotional period.”

Netser was still in police custody on the morning of Jan. 13, pending a bail hearing.

“The whole thing is blocked off,” Jon Stack, a subdivision resident, said before the standoff was resolved.

Other workers, and area children coming out of school, were also unable to get into the Road to Nowhere neighbourhood to return home.

Another source said an email circulated earlier on Jan. 12 among Iqaluit office workers, warning them to watch out for a certain man, but it’s not clear if this incident is related to events at the Road to Nowhere.

With files from Jim Bell

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