Victoria police have issued a public warning after a man allegedly exposed himself to at least two women, and then began following them.
According to Victoria Police Department (VicPD) spokesperson Bowen Osoko, the incident happened around 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
Osoko said it began when a woman saw the man sitting on a park bench near Ceclia Avenue with his hands in his pants. As she passed him, the man exposed himself, then began to follow her, Osoko said.
At that point, she was approached by a second woman on a bicycle who said the same man had done the same thing to her just minutes earlier.
Investigators said the two women walked away from the area, and were followed by the man until they entered a nearby business and called police.
When police arrived, they searched the area but couldn’t find the suspect.
“That the man followed them is definitely something of concern to our investigators,” said Osoko. “When someone exposes themselves and then follows, there’s some extra concern there.”
The woman who made the report was unharmed, but shaken by the event and offered support, Osoko said.
He said the woman on a bicycle left the area before police arrived, and investigators are looking to speak with her, as she may have additional identifying information about the suspect.
Osoko added that there may be other women who were approached by the same man who haven’t reported it yet, and are asking anyone who experienced something similar to come forward.
“Often there’s more than one. When a circumstance like this this happens, they feel embarrassed, they feel as if they have somehow done something to instigate this behaviour or welcome it. That’s not the case,” Osoko said.
“Anyone that ever experiences sexualized violence or anything like this, I want them to know that we believe them and we’ll listen.”
The suspect is described as a Caucasian man in his 40s, about six-feet tall, with a slim build and long brown hair in a ponytail. He was barefoot and wearing grey cargo shorts and a black t-shirt.
Anyone with information or who witnesses suspicious behaviour in the area is asked to call Victoria police.
“We’re asking people in this area to be aware of this incident, and of course to use caution… if they see anything like this, do exactly what these two women did, leave the area, get themselves safe.”
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