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Suspect identified in series of alleged Coquitlam assaults

Last Updated Jan 30, 2020 at 1:32 pm PDT

(CityNews photo)

A suspect has been identified in connection with several alleged assaults at a Coquitlam park

Mounties say the reported assaults happened between November of 2019 and January of this year

Police say there are 'extenuating circumstances' preventing them from explaining why charges may not be recommended

COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) – A suspect has been identified in connection with a series of alleged assaults at a Coquitlam park.

Mounties say the man is being linked to seven reported incidents at Glen Park along Westwood Street between November of 2019 and January of this year.

We want to let people know there are extenuating circumstances involving this suspect that may have played a role in these alleged assaults, Corporal Michael McLaughlin with Coquitlam RCMP says. “Due to privacy concerns, I can’t go into detail about this suspect’s circumstances, but everyone should know that public safety is our number one priority.”

While Mounties are not releasing any information about the man at this time, they say he was not known to police. While the suspect hasn’t been arrested, McLaughlin says the RCMP has upped enforcement in the area of Glen Park.

“We have systems in place to ensure the area of the park is safe and we’re going to continue to make files like this a priority no matter where they happen,” McLaughlin adds.

Police say in all cases reported, the alleged assaults targeted adult women. The suspect is said to have touched or slapped the women, before running away.

More potential victims started to come forward after seeing a warning issued by the RCMP earlier this week.

Mounties are now working with partners to determine “the best course of action.”

“We’ve used a variety of techniques for this file — some of which we can talk about, some of which we can’t — to make sure that area is safe. Now, it is absolutely on our radar, so we’re extra cautious.”

Meanwhile, McLaughlin is warning against people taking circumstances into their own hands, and is asking the public to let police do their job.

“We’ve seen some people publicly express their desire to intervene in this and maybe even that physical harm come to the suspect,” he explains. “That would be really inappropriate in this particular case. Of course, police can’t give you all the facts of what’s going on, but it’s important nobody leaps to conclusions without having all the facts.”