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VPD identifies 'person of interest' in case of woman being followed through downtown

Last Updated Mar 21, 2021 at 3:47 pm PDT

Summary

VPD says a 33-year-old man has been arrested for assault a woman Friday

Police say 'person of interest' has been identified in 'suspicious circumstance of a man following a woman in Chinatown'

The woman who filmed video as she was followed says the man in custody is not the one who followed her

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Police say they have identified a “person of interest” in the case of a woman being followed through Vancouver this week.

A 33-year-old man was arrested Friday morning for assaulting a woman in downtown Vancouver. The Vancouver Police Department says as a result of this arrest they have “identified a person of interest in the suspicious circumstance of a man following a woman in Chinatown earlier this week.”

Jamie Coutts told CityNews Thursday a stranger followed her for 40 minutes as she made her way through the streets of the city, and the VPD confirmed they were investigating.

Coutts has told CityNews that she was shown a photo of the man who is in custody, and does not believe it is the man that followed her.

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

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 said earlier this week.

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.

Another Vancouver woman told CityNews she believed the man shown in the video had also followed her around the same area last month.

Nani Gonzalez says was leaving the Stadium-Chinatown SkyTrain station on Feb. 27 around 11 pm. when she sensed someone behind her.

She was able to avoid the man and lost him before she reached her home. She reported the incident to police Friday.