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Kitchener man arrested after woman allegedly choked in meeting to complete online sale

A Waterloo Regional Police vehicle . Ahmad Fareed Khan / Global News

Waterloo Regional Police say a woman was allegedly choked by a man in Kitchener while trying to complete an online sale.

They say the woman met the man online before agreeing to meet in person on Sunday at around 5:30 p.m. near Fairway Road.

Read more: 2 Waterloo schools placed in lockdown after armed robbery, car fire

Police allege the suspect attacked the woman and choked her before taking off from the area.

The remote, piloted vehicle was called in and the suspect was located about four hours later.

Police say a 19-year-old Kitchener man has been charged with assault and choking.

They have also issued a warning to area residents to be cautious when using social media and have a safety plan when meeting strangers.

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Read more: Guelph man faces 19 charges after alleged crime spree in Waterloo Region

“More people are turning to that online platform to meet people and there’s certainly some risks involved,” Const. Ashley Dietrich told Global News.

“So we’re just encouraging people to be cautious.”

Police also released a series of tips for people who are looking to be safe when using online platforms to buy and sell items or meet new people.

“Before you’re meeting somebody in person, do the research,” Dietrich said.

Police recommend attempting to learn more about people other than what may be on a profile.

They say be cautious when sharing images or other personal details on your profile such as where you live or your date of birth.

Read more: Cambridge man, 60, arrested after allegedly exposing himself on GRT bus in Kitchener

Police also say you should let someone know about your meeting in advance, meet in a public place, don’t leave drinks unattended and have a ride prepared for your meeting.

If you don’t feel comfortable with meeting someone or the person suggests meeting at a private location, be prepared to walk away and don’t feel pressured to attend, police say.

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If are reluctant or have feelings of discomfort throughout the date, police say you should leave.

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