Leering incident at London pharmacy draws police and social-media attention

London police say they were called to 431 Richmond St. at around 1:15 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
London police say they were called to 431 Richmond St. at around 1:15 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. Google Maps

An unsettling situation at a pharmacy in downtown London has city police investigating, and a London woman reminding people to “listen to their instincts.”

In a widely-shared Facebook post, Nicole Maris said she was headed to the Shoppers Drug Mart downtown to do some errands early Sunday afternoon when she spotted a group of five men across the street watching her.

“I just kind of ignored it, and went about my business,” she told 980 CFPL.

It was while she was searching for a birthday card that she spotted the five men come inside the store, and she watched as one of them asked a store employee whether there was any gold they could buy.

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“It was weird. So I was kind of being attentive, but like I said, ignoring them.”

Maris said they then came around the corner and surrounded her — one made a remark about her appearance, she says, while another was pretending to look at the products on the shelf nearby.

“That was when my instinct kicked in — there was just something really off about that.”

Doubting herself, and wondering if she was overreacting, Maris headed to the beauty section to ask an employee for help.

“Surely, five guys don’t need makeup, so I just thought if I am overreacting, then I’d be able to see it at that point.”

But as Maris explained to the beauty attendant why she was feeling uncomfortable, she said the men came into the beauty section and that the employee herself looked uncomfortable with the men’s’ leering gazes.

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That’s when the two of them walked back to the pharmacy section of the store, and Maris was given a private consultation room to wait in until the men left.

But they didn’t, she said; not until a supervisor announced a security check over the store’s intercom.

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The men continued to linger outside, and Maris said she waited inside the Shoppers Drug Mart for police to arrive, take her statement and drive her home.

London police haven’t been able to provide details about what happened, but confirm an investigation is ongoing after being called to the store at around 1:15 p.m.

“What we can say is that if you’re ever placed in a situation where you feel uncomfortable, or something just doesn’t seem right, you can give us a call,” said Const. Sandasha Bough.

“We will investigate.”

Maris herself is offering a similar word of advice: she wants people to trust their instincts, like she did.

“In that moment, everything inside of me was saying, ‘No, get away from this situation, and get to a safer space.'”

As of mid-Monday afternoon, Maris’ post on Facebook had more than 5.5K shares.