Following a terrifyingly close call, a BC university, SFU, issued warnings after a woman was almost assaulted on a trail. The university has now publicly put up notices encouraging people to walk in groups on campus.
According to the Burnaby RCMP, a 19-year-old woman was walking on a trail on Burnaby Mountain close to Simon Fraser University at around 8:30 PM on Sunday, July 14, 2019.
The victim told RCMP that as she was walking, a stranger followed her and tried to engage in conversation. The man allegedly grabbed the woman's hand and tried to pull her. The woman immediately pulled back and ran to a nearby parking lot, where she asked passersby for help.
According to RCMP, the unidentified man walked to the parking lot and continued trying to engage with the victim before leaving in a car. The vehicle was described as being a grey or black four-door Acura.
RCMP have described the suspect as being a five-foot, nine-inches tall South Asian male. His age is anywhere from 19 to 23-year-old. He has brown eyes, no facial hair and a black turban. At the time, he was wearing a blue long sleeve shirt, grey sweat pants, and black sandals.
Following the incident, RCMP have released several tips to stay safe on the trails surrounding the campus. Officials are advising people to not walk alone and instead walk in pairs or in a group. They are also telling students to be mindful of their surroundings and to not wear headphones or become distracted by cellphones when walking.
“This was a frightening situation for this victim who thankfully was able to get to safety,” says Corporal Mike Kalanj with Burnaby RCMP. “We are asking that people remain vigilant on the trails, following our advice and if you know who this suspect is then please contact police immediately."
Following the close call, SFU sent out an email to students reminding them of safety precautions—similar to what the RCMP have released. According to CTV News, the campus has already increased security presence on campus.