Surrey RCMP says it is investigating an alleged “stranger assault” that happened in the Tynehead area on Jan. 16.
A 14-year-old girl, according to a news release from RCMP on Thursday (Jan. 17), was walking home from school in the 9300-block of 157th Street next to Bel Air Park when the incident happened around 4:15 p.m.
Police said the girl noticed a man “standing at the path into the park” as she walked past it, and as she continued to walk “she noticed the (man) was walking behind her.”
The girl, according to RCMP, “increased her pace, which the (man) did too.”
“The (man) then grabbed the (girl) on the shoulder,” the release reads. “The (girl) quickly kicked backwards, striking the (man) which caused the (him) to let go.”
Officers are stepping up patrols and looking into whether this incident is related to any other recent similar incidents. Have info, were in the area at the time, or have dash-cam footage? Call us or @SolveCrime. 2/2
— Surrey RCMP (@SurreyRCMP) January 17, 2019
Police said the girl “ran home while calling her parents on the way” to tell them what happened.
Surrey RCMP said the frontline and youth unit officers went to the area and searched the area looking for the suspect, adding that officers also went around the neighbourhood for witness and surveillance video.
Police said the suspect was described as Caucasian, wearing a black hoodie, grey sweatpants and black running shoes. RCMP said the girl “did not see the suspect’s face.”
Surrey RCMP also said it is asking for the public’s help with the investigation, adding that investigators are asking for anyone who was in the area between 3 and 5 p.m. or who may have dash-cam footage to contact police.
Anyone with information or witnessed this occurrence who has not already spoken with police, is asked to call Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or solvecrime.ca.
Surrey RCMP’s Special Victim’s Unit, according to the release, is working on the investigation with help from the youth unit.
“Officers are looking into whether this incident is related to any other similar incidents and will be continuing extra patrols in and around Surrey schools with assistance from additional units,” the release reads.
Surrey RCMP also provided tips to the community regarding personal safety precautions:
• Don’t take short cuts. Use main routes, avoid lanes, forested or secluded areas.
• Walk with friends.
• Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back.
• Phone home when leaving a friends house and say when you will be home.
• Don’t assist strangers.
• Trust your instincts and your feelings and know your surroundings.
• Phone if you are going to be delayed, or if your plans change.