Tbnewswatch Local News
Tuesday July 7 2015
7:05 AM EDT
2014-08-29 at 14:41

Police erring on side of caution after possible sighting of accused Minnesotan killer

Thunder Bay police spokesman Chris Adams.
Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
Thunder Bay police spokesman Chris Adams.
By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- City police say they were erring on the side of caution in a case of mistaken identity that shut down a neighbourhood Thursday night.

Law enforcement in Ontario received a tip that Lyle Hoffman, a man on the run and wanted for murder in Minnesota, may be in Canada.

Thunder Bay Police Service officers spotted a car with Minnesota license plates on Riverside Drive around 6 p.m. Thursday and a man matching Hoffman's description. Several hours and a full incident command later, they learned the man was from Thunder Bay and had visitors in from out of town.

Police spokesman Chris Adams said it all worked out but at the time officers didn't know what they were dealing with. There could have been a hostage situation or any number of problems when potentially dealing with an armed and dangerous fugitive. It's not as simple as knocking on the door.

"There was a perceived threat then to the public," Adams said. "We'll always go on the side of caution."

"You don't know what you're dealing with so the officers will not automatically approach the house."

Someone heading to the home was detained and questioned by police, which quickly diffused the situation. Adams said police were able to figure out that the man wasn't Hoffman. He was surprised but good-natured and understood the confusion Adams said.

"Everyone was relieved it was over," he said.

Hoffman is wanted for the Aug. 11 murder of Kelly Phillips. While local police now believe he isn't in the area, if spotted they are urging the public to avoid contact and call police as soon as possible.


Click here to submit a letter to the editor.

Click here to report a typo or error



We've improved our comment system.
Blah blah says:
You error on the side of caution when it comes to things like this. If anything it puts their training to use on situations like this and keeps them sharp. Money well spent in my opinion.
8/30/2014 9:17:05 AM
spazz says:
wouldn't a picture of the fugitive be a helpful addition to this story?
8/30/2014 9:03:37 AM
chbaker says:
I for one would like to see how much this blunder cost...?

Reno 911 anyone?
8/29/2014 7:31:07 PM
Enquirer says:
Ah, Hank, right on cue!

Glad to see you've brought one of the trolling accounts out again!

Seeing as how you have been critical of police in the past, how would you have handled this situation?

"Hello, I think I have spotted that murderer from Minnesota in my neighbourhood, can you please send officers?"

"Send officers?! Wow wooooow there, Ms. Demanding. Do you know how much that is going to cost?!"

Seeing as how this person is wanted for one of the most, if not the most, heinous crimes possible, I think even you would have a hard time spewing the same tired rhetoric of "Don't the police have anything better to do than waste money?!"

You really do wear that chip on your shoulder toward the police very loudly and proudly, eh?

Best of luck come October!
8/29/2014 11:57:03 PM
BuddhaMum says:
How can you even consider this a "blunder"? A possible murder suspect is in the area. Police respond appropriately and block off that area in attempt to catch him. It turns out to be a false alarm. Thank goodness!
You're such a negative Nelly.
9/2/2014 10:00:56 AM
patti says:
I feel sorry for the poor folks visiting from MN, Welcome to Canada EH.
8/29/2014 6:03:16 PM
fuzzball says:
two thumbs up for thunder bays finest good going guys and gals
8/29/2014 5:49:55 PM
AJ147 says:
The TBPS has nothing to apologize for. Over the decades this city has had several fugitives from the US hide out here & given our proximity to Minnesota & the fact Hoffman is known to travel extensively in Canada this was definitely the right thing to do on their part. Better safe then sorry.
Good job by our force!!!
8/29/2014 3:50:48 PM
eventscentre says:
You can't blame then. In the City With The Giant Knife, one has to be careful.
8/29/2014 2:46:34 PM
Tbaylifer 1 says:
This is,by far, your best post.LOL
8/29/2014 4:46:47 PM
Comments for this story are semi-moderated. Read our comment guideline.

Add a new comment.
You must log in to add comments.
Create a new account
Log In