Nanaimo RCMP are warning the public to be alert as police search for a man accused of exposing himself on a public trail.
Police say the incident happened around 12:15 p.m. last Wednesday on the Beach Estate Trails.
“Our city parks and trails are used by thousands of people every year for hiking, biking, jogging and a variety of other uses and are inherently safe,” Nanaimo RCMP Const. Gary O’Brien said in a media release.
“Unfortunately, like other communities, indecent exposures occur from time to time. Staying alert, maintaining spatial awareness and reacting properly are several ways to react if confronted.”
The suspect is described as a Caucasian man in his mid 20s with curly brown hair and glasses.
He was wearing a black jacket with grey sleeves, black sweatpants and grey runners. Police say he was last seen walking in front of the Save-On-Foods at Brooks Landing Mall.
Mounties are also urging people using the trail system to pay attention to their surroundings and who else may be around them.
They have also released a set of safety tips in the wake of the incident:
- If someone is walking behind you and it makes you feel uncomfortable, stop, pull over to the side of the trail and let them pass
- If you are confronted by someone who is committing an indecent act, stay calm and leave the area immediately
- When safe to do so, report the incident
- Make sure to tell other users of the situation
- Carry a cell phone or whistle with you.
- Pepper spray is an option but has limitations and should only be used if you fear for your safety
- If you are concerned for your safety, run in the opposite direction and make noise
- When wearing earbuds, keep the volume at a reasonable level so you can hear who you are sharing your space with
- Take a look around the parking lot and see who you are sharing it with. Criminals often wait to you are several minutes in to your walk, then break into your vehicle
- When parking remove all valuables. Better yet think about leaving your valuables at home
Anyone with information on the exposure incident is asked to contact Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345.