Be vigilant, cops warn after teen groped in Kanata park

A masked man is on the loose after sexually assaulting a teenager in a Kanata park Wednesday.

“We haven’t seen too many cases like this,” said Ottawa Police Sgt. Trish Ferguson from the sexual assault/child abuse section.

The incident took place around 10:30 p.m. at Walter Baker Park near the Kanata Recreation Centre Arena.

A 17-year-old girl told police she was inappropriately touched by a man who came up from behind.

He then ran toward the recreation complex.

The suspect was wearing a black ‘morph mask,’ made of breathable fabric. The masks and body-suits are popular at Halloween, completely covering the face and making one’s features indistinguishable. It allows the person wearing it to see out.

“It certainly makes our job a little more difficult and the fact that they are disguising themselves is a bit — yeah, it’s concerning, I would say,” said Ferguson.

From the information received, the man did not use a weapon, cops said.

But in the wake of the incident, police are asking residents to be vigilant and take precautions.

“When they are out, you know, double up, go with a friend, make sure people know where you’re going,” said Ferguson.

Having said that, cops don’t want people altering their daily lives, she added.

“We just want to make the public aware and assume that people will take measures on their own to make sure they’re safe.”

It’s unknown if surveillance footage captured the suspect on tape, as the investigation is in the early stages, Ferguson said.

The suspect is described as standing six feet tall with broad shoulders. He was wearing a dark hoodie and other dark clothing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact investigators at 613-236-1222, ext. 5944 or Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477 (TIPS) or toll free at 1-800-222-8477.

kelly.roche@sunmedia.ca

@ottawasunkroche

http://www.ottawasun.com/2013/08/09/cops-hunt-sex-assault-suspect-in-kanata

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