Child allegedly grabbed by man on way to school in Courtenay

Incident happened on Willemar Avenue

At approximately 8:15 a.m. on Tuesday morning (Jan. 8) a nine-year-old child was walking to school on Willemar Avenue when he reported being grabbed by an unknown man.

The child reported walking on the sidewalk of Willemar Avenue between 17th and 20th Streets, when an unknown man grabbed onto his backpack. The child pulled away and made his way to school where he told his principal about what happened and the police were notified.

The man is described as:

• Middle-aged

• Caucasian

• Not clean shaven

• Wearing a black toque

• Wearing a dark green puffy coat, looks old

• Short grey/dark brown hair

• Spoke with a garbled, deep voice

Police officers went to the area right away but did not locate anyone matching the description of the suspect. The Comox Valley RCMP Major Crime Unit is continuing with this investigation and are looking for witnesses.

“This area of Courtenay has quite a bit of traffic in the morning when it’s time to get our children to school. It is very likely that someone in the area saw the suspect, or even what happened,” said Const. Monika Terragni, Comox Valley RCMP media relations officer. “We are asking anyone who may be a witness to give us a call, and for care-givers to talk to the children in their care about situations they may encounter when they’re out on their own.”

Terragni added that, at this time, there is no indication that the suspect was driving a vehicle.

“There is no vehicle involved that we know of – the child only saw the man walking, not in a vehicle,” she said.

The Comox RCMP is asking students and parents to report any suspicious activities immediately to the RCMP. Anyone with information is asked to please contact the Comox Valley RCMP at 250-338-1321 and refer to file 2019-357. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Comox Valley Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at comoxvalleycrimestoppers.bc.ca.

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