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Woman says 'malicious'-looking men tried to run her off Coquitlam road

Last Updated Feb 11, 2021 at 9:22 am PDT

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Summary

While driving alone in Coquitlam, a 20-year-old woman says two men chased and blocked her in on the road

‘It did not look playful’, says woman recalling scary pursuit by two men in Coquitlam

Two men claim to be ‘looking to meet girls’ after woman calls police

COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) — More women in southwestern B.C. are coming forward with horrifying and recent examples of potentially dangerous encounters with men, the latest in Coquitlam on Monday.

A young woman says she was driving her regular route around 2 a.m., Monday, near Lion Park in Coquitlam when she noticed a silver Dodge Sprinter-like van reverse and change course awkwardly.

“They had to back up a little bit and then they took a left so they could meet beside me,” she says.

“And that’s when the man who was in the passenger seat started pounding on his window. His eyes were wide open. He was pounding on the window and he looked very angry, he was screaming at me and I know I did nothing wrong,” she says.

NEWS 1130 has agreed to withhold the woman’s identity due to concerns about her personal safety.

She says her intuition told her to try to ignore the men as they continued to pursue her.

“He just looked like he had malicious intent. It did not look playful. It did not look like it was a bunch of guys who were perhaps drunk or just looking to scare some poor girl. It didn’t look like that, it looked like something more,” the woman tells NEWS 1130.

When the light turned green she sped away to the left and the van chased after her, driving dangerously close so she had little room to maneuver.

Realizing she was blocked in, the young woman says she tried to speed up to change lanes.

“There’s no way I could do a lane change,” she recalls.

“I slowed down almost to a stop. Like, keep in mind, this is kind of a highway where you can drive 50 to 60 [kilometres per hour] so I slow down almost to a stop, they slow down almost to a stop,” she says.

“They kept trying to just drive at the same speed as me. They kept trying to corner me slowly … At this point, I don’t know what they want from me. The guy in the passenger seat kept pounding on the window, and if you drive any further, there’s a little ditch just kind of like a ditch where your car can get stuck on.”

Somewhat familiar with the area, the woman knew a ditch was coming and also knew she had a chance to make a sharp turn the large van likely couldn’t handle. She cranked her steering wheel to the right and tried once again to get away.

“They did not expect that. I could tell because the [van] jolted a little. I don’t know what they wanted from this. They were probably expecting me to stop, or they wanted my car to get stuck in a ditch. Those were the only two options I was seeing because I could not turn. I could not switch lanes.”

Still, she managed to escape into a hidden residential lane she believes the men were unaware of where she called police on the non-emergency line.

“I guess a police officer, he heard this on the radio and he said he thought he recognized this van and said ‘It just passed me.’ Keep in mind, this is already 25 to 30 minutes after the whole ordeal on the street. These two men in the van were found circling half an hour later,” she says.

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The woman recalls police caught up with the men who were caught behind a train crossing and that police confirmed they are from Surrey and claimed to be in the area “looking to meet girls.”

According to the victim, police said they had no choice but to let the men go and they claimed to have put a note on the driver’s licence file.

Coquitlam RCMP media relations officer Cst. Deanna Law says in an email, Thursday morning, she would like to speak with the investigator involved but they are not back on duty until Friday to confirm details.

The young woman says she does not feel safe on her regular routes, in her home, or on errands alone. She wished the police had the power to do more, saying the RCMP suggested she should have a dash cam and that might have helped the case with more evidence.

She says it concerns her that she’s a petite woman of colour as a Chinese person and fits a victim profile of a small, female alone and seemingly vulnerable.

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She says the resources the police offered aren’t going to protect her.

“What can resources do when you’re supposed to feel as safe as you can in your own home? That has been robbed from me. Honestly, nothing like this has happened to me before, so it affects me more than I thought it would. Day-to-day, I can’t concentrate because my mind instantly travels to those moments. I always feel insecure and it seems like no one else really understands that.”

She says she wishes police could have at least offered her details, such as if the men were known criminals or had any dangerous offences on their records. However, she says police told her that information is protected by privacy laws.

But she’s also asking the community to take her seriously.

“When you post stories and I see girls post stories of similar incidents and there’s people in the comments saying ‘you’re lying, this is fake, this is a way to get attention,’ It’s kind of a slap in the face and I feel like the community doesn’t have my back, the RCMP doesn’t barely have my back.”

NEWS 1130 is awaiting a reply from Coquitlam RCMP to confirm these details.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article contained a possible description of a suspect. This has been removed.