Stranger allegedly grabs girl by arm near Vernon school

Witnesses sought as girls, aged 11, claim unknown man grabbed one of their arms near school

Witnesses are sought as two 11-year-old girls allege that an unknown man grabbed one girl by the arm near a Vernon school.

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP is seeking witnesses to a suspicious occurrence which occurred near a local school early Tuesday evening. Just after 6 p.m., officers were called to the area of Mission Hill Elementary, in the 1500-block of 36th Street after two girls, both aged 11, reported that while walking on a path near the school, an unknown man approached them and allegedly grabbed one of the youth by the arm.

One youth thought quickly and ran into public view on the street, yelling for help, which caused the man to quickly let go of the other girl’s arm and flee on foot, police said.

The girls were able to grab the attention of a passing vehicle, and the vehicle’s occupants helped the girls to safety by retreating into a nearby church.

“Officers are currently investigating this incident, however, are looking to speak to the good Samaritans that assisted the youth last evening, as they left prior to police arrival and were not identified,” said RCMP spokesperson Const. Kelly Brett.

RELATED: Police investigate suspicious Armstrong incident

Maritza Reilly, School District 22 communications coordinator, said the District has been made aware of the incident and is sending a letter to Mission Hill Elementary parents.

“The students are safe and took all the appropriate measures in this situation,” Reilly said. “As police continue to investigate the incident, we are encouraging parents and guardians to speak with their children and remind them to be aware of their surroundings as they walk around in the community.”

Reilly recommends students avoid using shortcuts, walk with friends, inform someone where they are going and when they will be back, phone home when leaving a friends’ house, trust their instincts and phone home if they will be delayed.

The suspect in this incident is described as a man with tan-coloured skin, wearing dark or all-black clothing, approximately five-foot-seven to five-foot-10 tall with a thin-to-average build.

The youth were not physically injured as a result of this incident.

The Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP are asking anyone who may have been in the area of the 1500 block of 36th Street on Tuesday, Feb. 12, between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. and may have witnessed this male or suspicious occurrence, to please contact the RCMP at 250-545-7171 and reference file #2019-3092.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Possible water restrictions in Vernon

RDNO staff will be monitoring weather conditions, reservoir levels, and customer water demand on a weekly basis to assess whether higher water restrictions are necessary

Kal Crystal Waters Trail now open in Vernon

This new Vernon trail connects college with rail trail and offers a safer route for pedestrians, cyclists

Vernon students beat heat with bubble suits, giant waterslide

Clarence Fulton Secondary School students held their Hawaiian day celebration on June 12

PHOTOS: Enderby grads paint the town — and themselves

Students spray painted the street outside A.L. Fortune on June 14 to celebrate graduation

VIDEO: Horseback riding helps North Okanagan residents with special needs

North Okanagan Therapeutic Riding Association needs more volunteers to continue offering sessions

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Jury finds Kelowna man guilty of second-degree murder

A Kelowna jury found Steven Randy Pirko guilty of the second-degree murder

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

LETTER: British Columbia’s forest industry crisis being made worse

Andrew Wilkinson warns of regulatory overload by John Horgan’s NDP

Convicted B.C. child abductor Randall Hopley back in custody 6 months after release

Correctional Services Canada could not provide further details due to privacy concerns

UPDATE: Dog bitten by rattlesnake in West Kelowna “going to be OK”

The dog, Bella, is recovering after being bitten on a hike in West Kelowna

Bears have killed 17 people in B.C. since 1986

Number of bear complaints and bears killed rose sharply during same period

Most Read