Two men hijacked a Canadian fishing boat operator at knifepoint on Tuesday, demanding that he drop them on U.S. soil.
A 17-year-old boy took the men out fishing on his 16-foot charter boat from Ontario and the men asked him to get closer to the Niagara shore so they could take pictures, according to news reports.
One of the men spoke only French and the other spoke both French and English, with a New Jersey accent, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Michael Zimmerman told the Buffalo News.
A father and son said the men approached them at the Queenston, Ontario, docks and offered to pay $200 to be taken out fishing. The father was unable to go out, but his 17-year-old son, who captained the boat, told Niagara County sheriff’s deputies that he took the two men late Tuesday morning for a day of fishing on Lake Ontario.
He said that after about two hours on the water, the men appeared to lose interest in fishing and offered to pay more to get closer to the U.S. side to take pictures. When they got closer, the teen said the man with the New Jersey accent threatened him with a knife and told him to drop them off in the United States, according to the Niagara County sheriff’s report.
The captain brought the boat to shore near Fort Niagara and the two men fled on foot.
They are described as being in their mid-20s. The French-speaking man was about 6 feet tall and 175 pounds and wearing a bright blue coat and white winter hat. The other was 5 feet, 11 inches tall and 200 pounds, with black hair and a short, trimmed beard, wearing a black sweater, track pants and white Nikes.
Fishermen at the Queenston Sand Docks say the fishing spot is usually filled with regulars, or customers who hire professional charter guides.
“You know, they always say, it wouldn’t happen here, it’s too quiet. Well, maybe that’s why they decided to pick here,” Canadian fisherman Mark Stafford told WIVB.
“Somebody pulls a knife on you, you’re going to drop them off where they want,” Canadian fisherman Gord Brown said.