Police have arrested a 23-year-old man and charged him with two counts of sexual assault after two women were groped in downtown Vancouver.
The first victim, 29, said she was sexually assaulted by a stranger outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Saturday. She called 911 right away.
Minutes later, a 24-year-old woman said she, too, was groped, while walking near West Georgia and Thurlow streets. A witness called 911 and followed the suspect from a distance, the Vancouver Police Department said Monday.
“In both of these cases, the victims did remarkably well under the circumstances, despite being quite likely shocked and taken aback by what had happened,” Sgt. Steve Addison said in a news conference.
“It’s a really good example of both victims and witnesses doing exactly what we ask them to when they see a crime.”
The suspect was arrested on Robson Street on Saturday afternoon. He has since been released on bail.
It’s another example of an unprovoked attack on strangers in the city.
According to Vancouver police, an average of four people are the victims of random, groundless attacks by unknown suspects in the city each day. The figures don’t include barfights, robberies, incidents of road rage or other assaults where the individuals are known to each other.
Addison said police believe the 23-year-old groping suspect recently moved to Vancouver from Saskatchewan and will be investigating his background more deeply in the coming weeks.
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