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'He didn't have any fear to him': Video shows frightened Vancouver woman being followed by stranger

Last Updated Mar 18, 2021 at 8:27 pm PDT

Summary

Jamie Coutts was running an errand in the Tinseltown area around 5:30 p.m. when she became aware of the man's presence

A Vancouver woman says she was followed for 40 minutes, has reported the incident to police

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Followed for 40 minutes, a Vancouver woman says a stranger kept walking behind her as she made her way through the streets of the city on Wednesday, so she pulled out her phone to record it.

Jamie Coutts was running an errand in the Tinseltown area around 5:30 p.m. when she became aware of the man’s presence.

“I felt somebody was walking really closely behind me. So, out of instinct, I just veered off the path so he could pass, but instead of passing he just stopped and stared at me. So I said, ‘You are walking too close to me,’ and he just looked at me, and so I just kept walking,” she says.

Coutts pulled out her phone and recorded a seven-minute video which she shared online. At one point you can see something in the man’s hand that he ends up tucking into his bag. Eventually, Coutts approaches a group of skateboarders.

“He didn’t have any fear to him, he followed me knowing people were watching, you can see people kind of looking confused in the video looking at me because I was holding my phone in a way it was in front of me it was obvious to everybody around me and I could see what was happening behind me,” she explains.

In the video, you can see the man hesitate and then eventually walk away. Coutts says she stayed with the skateboarders for 15 minutes and contacted Vancouver Police shortly after.

Sgt. Steve Addison confirms police are investigating the incident.

“We are currently analyzing this and looking into it further to see if it could be linked to other events like this that have occurred either in the city or elsewhere in the region,” he says.

“Obviously, this incident is very concerning to us and we take it very seriously. We applaud the victim for doing the right thing and coming forward to police so we can conduct a proper investigation.”

The man does not speak in the video, and it’s impossible to know what his motivation was. But Coutts says since she posted the video she’s been inundated with messages from other women saying they’ve had similar interactions with a similar man.

“I hope that I don’t run into him again, and I hope that the police are getting as much information as they can to find this guy because I wasn’t the first and I know I won’t be the last.”

Coutts says the reason she chose to record the incident is that she was worried about what would happen if the man saw her calling 911.

Angela Marie MacDougall is with Battered Women’s Support Services and says women in situations like this have to do a lot of quick calculations to figure out how to respond to a situation in which they feel threatened.

“There is no right or wrong way to respond to it, every woman will respond in her own way depending on the circumstance. It’s not up to any of us to judge or second guess what any of us do in the circumstance, but rather to recognize she did what she needed to do in that moment,” she says.

“In this case we are having this conversation because she memorialized that experience.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the VPD at (604) 717-3321.