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UBC Okanagan campus alert leads to suspect arrest

A photo of a man under investigation for inappropriate behaviour and comments to women at UBC Okanagan. .
A photo of a man under investigation for inappropriate behaviour and comments to women at UBC Okanagan. . UBCO/ Global Okanagan

Police in Kelowna have launched a criminal investigation following a UBCO campus safety alert on Thursday.

The alert stated a suspicious individual was approaching women and engaging in harassing behaviour, including making inappropriate and suggestive comments.

The university said campus security issued the individual a no trespass order.

The 28-year-old, 5-foot-11 man has shoulder-length, sandy-blonde hair and a full beard.

He reportedly has usually been seen wearing a multi-coloured toque, a blue sweater or bright green jacket.

READ MORE: Increased security at UBC after reports of voyeur on Vancouver campus

Kelowna RCMP said it was aware of the campus safety alert, stating “although charges have not yet been laid, police have launched a criminal investigation into the alleged suspicious actions of the individual depicted in the campus’s safety bulletin.”

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“Police have since located the individual believed to be the focus of the campus safety alert. He faces potential charges and has since been released, expected to appear in court in March of 2019,” Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey said. “As a result, the public is no longer asked to contact police if the man is spotted.”

“However, ‎the police investigation continues at this time, as RCMP ask any additional witnesses to come forward to speak with investigators.”

READ MORE: Campus security on B.C. universities preparing to aid fentanyl overdose victims

UBCO issued a number of tips for students living on campus:

  • Lock it up when you leave and when you are sleeping. Each time you leave and when you are sleeping, lock your unit and room door, plus any accessible windows.
  • Don’t hold the door open for strangers. Don’t let people follow you into a locked residence building. If they have permission to be there, they will have their own key or a host.
  • Stop before you prop. Never prop open a building door, even if you are stepping outside for just a moment.

On campus after dark:

  • Trust your instincts. If you feel like you’re in danger or if you witness suspicious activity, call 911, then contact campus security. Emergency calls to campus security at 250-807-8111 or local 78111 can be made from any office telephone on campus and from the blue emergency security telephones located strategically around campus.
  • Walk with a friend, fellow resident or classmate.
  • Make use of the 24-hour campus security safe walk service by calling 250-807-8076 or by visiting the campus security dispatch office in the Admin Building.
  • There are resources on campus if you want to talk, get support or want information about reporting to UBC or police.
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The sexual violence prevention and response office (SVPRO) has a 24/7crisis line at 250-807-9640 and the office is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Nicola Townhome 120; 1270 International Mews).

Health and Wellness Counselling (UNC 337) is available 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and can be reached at 250-807-9270.

Campus Security (ADM 104, 24/7 office) can be reached at 250-807-8111(emergency) and 250-807-9236 (non-emergency).