Police say they have gotten to the bottom of a viral social media post in November that described a violent sexual assault that left a woman in hospital in Vancouver.
In a statement on Wednesday (Nov. 29), Sgt. Steve Addison called the nature of the allegations “extremely concerning,” and sparked an investigation on Nov. 4 after a post on Instagram was reshared widely described a woman being abducted by a man dressed all in black and sexually assaulted while walking away from a pub near Victoria Drive and Powell Street.
The post said that the woman was severely beaten, had her teeth knocked out and was left in a park. It also suggested the woman had been drugged while inside the bar and targeted by a predator who was still at large.
Police say investigators were able to contact the woman and retraced her steps, as well as conducted an extensive video review.
According to investigators, the woman, who was visiting Canada, was out with friends in the early hours of Nov. 4, when she left the pub around closing time.
“The woman flagged down a passerby on an electric scooter and hitched a ride on the front, but quickly fell off and struck her face on the pavement.”
She was taken to hospital by friends for medical treatment, which may have contributed to some memory loss or confusion, police say.
“Our investigators met with the injured woman before she left the country and found her to be forthcoming with what she recalled about the night she was injured,” Addison said.
“She was not responsible for the misinformation that was spread online and in the media, and it appears the misinformation was shared by people who did not take the time to find out what had really happened.”