Edmonton police are investigating seven assaults and sexual assaults that happened in April in a northwest neighbourhood. They believe one man is responsible for all seven assaults.
Detectives with the EPS sexual assault section said a man committed various crimes, including assaults and, “most recently, sexual assaults.”
“The incidents are specifically targeting women, adult women,” Sgt. Dan Tames said. “There’s been seven incidents that have escalated from assaults to sexual assaults.
“We’re now putting out this media release as a duty to warn to the public because of the escalating nature of these assaults… so the public is aware,” Tames said.
“Be aware of your surroundings.”
The incidents happened between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. between Sunday, April 2 and Sunday, April 30 in the Cumberland neighbourhood — between 153 Avenue Northwest to the north, stretching south to 143 Avenue Northwest, east to 153 Avenue Northwest and west to about 142 Street Northwest.
Investigators believe it’s the same suspect because the description of him provided by the victims is similar.
“Recently the link was made that potentially this was the same person that was potentially involved in all these different incidents,” Tames said.
Police are asking anyone who believes they may have been victimized by the same suspect to contact the Edmonton Police Service at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone.
He is described as a man between the ages of 25 and 30 with a thin build and a buzz cut. He was reportedly wearing dark pants and a hoodie, most often with the hood up.
Police would not comment on the nature or severity of the victims’ injuries.
Cassidy Girard often takes walks in the area.
“It’s nerve wracking,” she said Wednesday.
“Suddenly there’s all these attacks.”
Girard said she might consider a different form of exercise or bringing something with her now that there’s been seven attacks.
“That’s definitely scary. It’s just weird around here.
“I feel safe in this neighbourhood but now it’s kind of creepy — watching over your shoulder and everything.”
Christine and Alex Wong have lived in the area for less than a year and often watch their grandchildren at a nearby playground.
“Hopefully the police will catch the guy,” Alex said.
The couple said they feel unsafe.
“Because we were not aware of it,” Christine said. “Otherwise we would have been taking more precautions, right? So this is not good.”
“Alex was going to leave us here and go home and do some chores,” she added. “And then we thought: no. In that case, we have to go together.”