Terrace RCMP are investigating an assault and possible abduction attempt of a 13-year old girl Sept. 5. The teen’s mother, Jolene Lincoln, posted a message on Facebook warning parents of the incident.
Contacted by phone, she said around 9 p.m. Sept. 5 her daughter had been walking home with friends from a youth group at a nearby church. When they reached the Chill Soda Shop on Hwy16, just a few blocks from the girl’s home, she separated from the group and continued down the Millennium Trail.
Lincoln said her daughter could hear someone walking behind her and getting closer. Around the vicinity of the Copperside food store across the highway, the stranger grabbed her arm.
“The material on her rain jacket was slippery, so when the guy went to go grab on to her arm, she pulled and his grip just slipped right off,” said Lincoln.
She said her daughter then ran across the street and found an unknown man outside of the store and told him what happened. The bystander went to investigate and the girl ran home along Kenny Street.
“She came running in just crying,” Lincoln said. “I grabbed on to her — she was in tears. At that moment she wasn’t ready to talk to anyone, she just wanted to go to bed.”
Lincoln called the police the next day. From the daughter’s brief description, RCMP say they suspect the person was Caucasian, around six-feet tall and wearing a black hoodie that covered the individual’s eyes.
“We’re still trying to get more information and interviewing a few more people here,” said Sgt. Mario Cloutier. “It is an ongoing investigation.”
Sgt. Cloutier said there haven’t been any other reports in the last couple months of a similar incident in Terrace. However, he added pedestrians should remain aware of their surroundings and avoid walking alone.
“Sometimes pedestrians will be walking around with headphones on and then they can’t hear, or they’re looking at their electronic device and they don’t pay attention to their surroundings.
“What we recommend is to always keep an eye around you and make sure you know where you’re at, and if you see something suspicious, pay more attention and call the police to report it.”
Lincoln said the bystander at the scene had also called RCMP to report the incident. Although Sgt. Cloutier was unable to confirm that, Lincoln was grateful for the assistance.
“That guy calling into the cops to make sure my daughter was okay afterwards… I’m very thankful to him,” Lincoln said. “It takes a whole community to raise one child, I’d like to see more of that. You can’t just not say something, especially when kids are involved.”
She said her daughter felt safe being only a block away from home on a brightly-lit street, but now she is concerned about safety in Terrace.
“If this guy already tried to grab at her, the next time he tries to do something… it’s going to be worse than what he’s just finished doing.”
If you have information about crime contact the Terrace RCMP at (250)638-7400 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers by telephone at 1-800-222-TIPS, online at: www.terracecrimestoppers.ca.