A Red Deer woman said she was groped on Nov. 21 at an outdoor parking lot in the middle of the day and police say several women have filed similar complaints in recent months. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

A Red Deer woman said she was groped on Nov. 21 at an outdoor parking lot in the middle of the day and police say several women have filed similar complaints in recent months. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Women groped downtown

Red Deer RCMP have suspected serial sexual attacker in custody

After several complaints from women who were groped or accosted on downtown streets, Red Deer RCMP now have a suspect in custody following another incident Wednesday morning.

Insp. Dean LaGrange, head of the downtown policing unit, said women started reporting incidents about two or three months ago.

“The RCMP is aware of several instances of women being accosted,” LaGrange said.

“We’re linking them, and today, there was another incident and somebody is in custody.”

A 33-year-old woman, who did not want to be identified, said she was assaulted a week ago at lunchtime when she was outside her vehicle at the outdoor Red Deer City parking lot on 48th Street, near Blue Grass Sod Farm Central Spray and Play.

She said a male came up behind her, stuck his hand up her skirt and grabbed her crotch, then ran away.

“I was taking a picture, and all of a sudden, I felt a hand on my body and I went into shock,” she said.

The victim said she was so upset, she didn’t think of taking a photo of her assailant.

“I was completely frozen. I couldn’t even shout at him.

“You don’t think it’s going to happen in front of a splash and play park in the middle of the day with people all around. I was in a busy section of town. It’s creepy.”

She immediately reported the assault to police. She said the officer who responded was compassionate and treated her with dignity, but she wished someone would have told her that crime was common in Red Deer.

“I don’t think that’s really fair for people to be walking around their city and not being told this was a problem. I would have liked to have known that.”

She only recently moved to Red Deer and started working downtown at the beginning of October.

“I’m very jaded with Red Deer’s downtown.”

She said she’s lived in Calgary and Toronto and visits huge cities such as New York and has never been assaulted like this before.

“It’s very frustrating to know there are people who make these choices to hurt other human beings.”

The victim said she has always been careful when walking alone.

“I think women, sometimes, we get accused because of what we’re wearing, what we’re doing, or who we’re with. I feel like I’ve tried to always be safe. I’m in my 30s. I’ve gone to six years of university.”



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

red deer city

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Paul Harris, owner of Tribe restaurant downtown, said a lot of the blame for the latest restrictions that will close outdoor patios on Sunday can be blamed on those not obeying health regulations and the government for failing to enforce the rules.
Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff
Restaurant owners frustrated by patio shutdowns

Outdoor patios must stop serving by midnight Sunday to stem rising COVID infections

The City of Red Deer said Wednesday that some outdoor activity rentals will be available starting Monday for households only. (Advocate File Photo)
City of Red Deer outlines activities available as new provincial COVID-19 restrictions set in

There will be limited recreation activities available across the City of Red… Continue reading

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta reports 2,271 new COVID-19 cases, Red Deer cases rise slightly

Across Alberta, there are 666 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 146 in the ICU

‘Love, Oran’ is a documentary feature made by Red Deer-raised filmmaker Colin Scheyen. It’s about hidden letters, found in a Woodlea home after 70 years, revealing a family secret. (Screenshot by Advocate staff).
Hidden letters reveal secrets of Red Deer family in a new documentary film

‘Love, Oran,’ by filmmaker Colin Scheyen is showing at Edmonton’s NorthwestFest

Red Deer Rebels’ three graduating players, Josh Tarzwell (left), Chris Douglas (middle) and Ethan Anders (right) will all move on to new opportunities next season. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
‘It was a rollercoaster’: Rebels’ graduating players look back on wild season

The nerves. Even three-and-a-half-years later, Josh Tarzwell still remembers the nervousness he… Continue reading

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on during a press conference in the rotunda at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday May 6, 2020. British Columbia is offering tangible recognition of the historical wrongs caused by the province when it interned thousands of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. gives $2M to Japanese Canadian seniors as step toward righting internment wrongs

B.C. gives $2M to Japanese Canadian seniors as step toward righting internment wrongs

Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force Al Meinzinger is seen during an interview with The Canadian Press in his office at National Defence headquarters in Ottawa, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. Canada is inching closer to the purchase of armed drones for its military even as details around how the controversial weapons will be used are starting to come together. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canadian military laying groundwork for arrival of armed drones

Canadian military laying groundwork for arrival of armed drones

DND, Veterans Affairs workers say harassment complaints not taken seriously: unions

DND, Veterans Affairs workers say harassment complaints not taken seriously: unions

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks during his weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill, Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Liz Cheney clings to GOP post as Trump endorses replacement

Liz Cheney clings to GOP post as Trump endorses replacement

Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, right, talks to his co-defendant Finnegan Lee Elder, before a jury began deliberating their fate as they are on trial for the slaying of an Italian plainclothes police officer on a street near the hotel where they were staying while on vacation in Rome in summer 2019, in Rome, Wednesday, May 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Rome jury convicts 2 US friends in slaying of police officer

Rome jury convicts 2 US friends in slaying of police officer

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland joins Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as they participate in a virtual discussion from Ottawa on Monday, May 3, 2021, with seniors from Residence Memphremagog in Magog, Quebec. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Federal budget ‘overstates’ economic impact of stimulus spending, budget officer says

Federal budget ‘overstates’ economic impact of stimulus spending, budget officer says

Police car is shown in Halifax on Thursday, July 2, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Black man’s jaywalking ticket in Halifax was racial discrimination: rights board

Black man’s jaywalking ticket in Halifax was racial discrimination: rights board

FILE - This Nov. 19, 2019 file photo shows a Peloton logo on the company's stationary bicycle in San Francisco. Peloton is recalling its treadmills after one child died and 29 other children suffered from cuts, broken bones and other injuries from being pulled under the rear of the treadmill. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Wednesday, May 5, 2021, that Peloton received 72 reports of adults, kids, pets or other items, such as exercise balls, being pulled under the treadmill. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
Peloton recalls treadmills, halts sales, after a child dies

Peloton recalls treadmills, halts sales, after a child dies

Most Read