Winnipeg police arrest river trail sex assault suspect

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Winnipeg police have laid charges in a sexual assault case along the Red River trail earlier this month. As Global's Anya Nazeravich tells us, tips from the public helped identify the suspect – Aug 27, 2021

Winnipeg sex crimes investigators have arrested a suspect in a sexual assault along the river trail near Churchill High School earlier this month.

Police said Friday afternoon that Jordan Andrew Bruyere, 29, of Winnipeg — who was wanted on charges of sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, and sexual assault — was taken into custody.

A teenage girl was seriously sexually assaulted around 3:45 a.m. Aug. 8, while walking along the trail, and police had released surveillance footage of a man dressed in black they called a ‘person of interest’ in the case.

Read more: Winnipeg cops warn women, girls, of recent assaults along Red River trail system

Police said Friday that numerous tips from the public led investigators to obtain an arrest warrant for the suspect, and that they believe Bruyere — who is known to police — is the man depicted in the surveillance video.

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Police had previously warned about a rash of sexual assaults along the same stretch of the river trail near Churchill High School, and although they said they don’t yet have evidence linking Bruyere to the other incidents, Const. Rob Carver said the possibility is being looked into.

Less than three hours after the teen was assaulted Aug. 8, a woman in her 20s was jogging along the river trail near Harkness Avenue, when a man came up from the riverbank, grabbed her from behind, and pulled her to the ground, police said.

The victim in that case was able to escape.

Police said a similar incident happened on June 12 at Cockburn Street and Churchill Drive, and that several incidents have taken place at various points along the west Red River trail system between April and August.

In each case, the victims were women and girls from 15 years old to their late 30s.

While Bruyere was still at large, Carver said he recommendation was for people in the area — or anywhere else in the city — to follow police safety advice when going out jogging, including going out with a partner, staying in well-lit areas, running without headphones, and carrying a cell phone or personal alarm device.

“Those recommendations are valid at any point in time… they’re good safety tops for anyone at any time,” he said.

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“Those tips would stand if we’ve made the arrest. I would still recommend those safety protocols. They’re good strategies.”

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