The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP is advising the public about an alleged sexual assault incident that occurred in the Okanagan Landing area early Monday evening and is appealing for any further information that may lead to the identity of a suspect.
On May 14, just before 4 p.m., the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP received a report of an adult female who was allegedly sexually assaulted while walking home in the 2400 block of Fulton Road. After the alleged incident, the suspect male fled on foot. Vernon North Okanagan RCMP general duty officers were immediately dispatched to the area but the suspect was not located.
The victim, who was not injured, describes the suspect as a Caucasian male, approximately 50 years old, wearing a white T-shirt, blue shorts and a black hat.
“The police are pursuing all avenues of the investigation to identify the suspect,” said Const. Kelly Brett. “We are looking for any witnesses who may have been in the area or heard anything at the time of the assault to come forward and speak to police.”
The victim is not a student or Vernon School District staff member.
Meanwhile parents and guardians of Clarence Fulton and Ellison Elementary schools are being sent home a letter regarding the incident.
“The letter informs parents of the situation and encourages them to speak with their children and remind them to be aware of their surroundings as they walk to and from school,” said Maritza Reilly, Vernon School District executive assistant/communications co-ordinator.
While this investigation is still in its early stages, the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP and SD22 would like to offer a few safety tips for residents to heighten their safety, including:
– Don’t take shortcuts. Use main routes and avoid lanes, forested or secluded areas.
– Walk with friends.
– Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back.
– Phone home when leaving a friend’s house and say when you will be home.
– Trust your instincts.
– Phone home if you are going to be delayed, or if your plans change.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP at 250-545-7171. Or remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or leaving a tip online at www.nokscrimestoppers.com. You do not have to reveal your identity to Crime Stoppers. If you provide information that leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.