Winnipeg police are warning the public that a man accused of groping a woman in Kildonan Park earlier this month, who has charges against him pending, has been released until the charges are official.
A woman in her 30s told police on May 17 she was in the park with her child when a man sat down beside her and struck up a conversation, Const. Rob Carver said at a press conference on Friday.
While he was speaking to the woman, the man reached out and “brazenly” groped her, Carver said. The woman took her child and left immediately, and wasn’t physically injured.
“This was a stranger situation at a park in broad daylight,” he said.
“I think it’s terrifying for myself as a member of the community, as a father. I was shocked at that.”
After an investigation, police arrested a 34-year-old man who lives near the park at his home on Thursday.
Carver says the man doesn’t have a background of sexual assault charges that would have flagged him as a threat.
“The Criminal Code dictates he be released on an appearance notice,” Carver said, explaining the police can’t name the man until a charge is officially laid.
“We don’t make these rules, we just follow them.”
Carver says this situation is especially concerning because more and more people are going outside as pandemic-related public health orders are loosening and the weather improves.
“This is troubling, for sure. We want to make sure that we’re letting people know this happened, it was investigated,” he said.
“If something like this is happening again, we need to know, and if someone thinks something similar has happened to them, please contact us and we’ll see if there are any linkages.”
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