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Woman alleges Prince Rupert RCMP set attacker free

Prince Rupert RCMP are being accused of letting a potentially dangerous foreign national leave the country without so much as a slap on the wrist.

While visiting family on Dec. 26, Laryssa Campbell said she was followed into the bathroom of the gaming centre by a crew member from a vessel moored in the harbour who verbally threatened her.

"As I entered the bathroom I was alone. While washing my hands I looked up in the mirror to see the gentlemen I had passed on my way in standing behind me in the women's bathroom. He came towards me so I ran as fast as I could to get security. They asked the gentleman to leave the premises. As he was leaving he was uttering threats to me in front of the security guards so they called the police," she explained.

“Police took statements, they were aware of the threats to me and he was caught on camera following me into the women’s bathroom. The police officer asked me to come into the RCMP station to give my video testimony the following day,” she said.

But Campbell said when she arrived to give her statement for the camera, the officer told her the case was closed.

“She said they would not go through with any charges and that the man was released from custody and got back on his ship and left the country,” she said, alleging the amount of paper work involved in dealing with foreign nationals was brought up.

“A man from a different country ... assaulted me with video evidence, threatened my life in front of many orderlies and got off scott free ... that man should have been charged, not set free. He can now come back whenever he feels.”

Chances security confirmed with the Northern View that RCMP were called to the scene to remove a man who had followed a woman into the bathroom and was threatening her as he was being escorted off the premises.

Const. Matt Ericson of the Prince Rupert RCMP said when officers arrived they did remove the individual, who spoke Greek and no English, but that was the extent of the situation.

“There was no evidence to support that an offence took place based on witness testimony and information we had received,” he said, noting the language barrier made it difficult to ascertain if threats were made or what the man’s intentions were and that entering the wrong bathroom is not a criminal offence.

“The reason we didn’t put any kind of peace bond in place is that this person was leaving the next morning and there was no risk of a continuation of offence since he was no longer going to be in the country. There was no concern or fear for this woman’s safety based on that and that person left the next day.”

While RCMP say there is no cause for concern as the man immediately left Canada and the Canada Border Service Agency was notified, Campbell said that is simply not the case.

“I do have fear. I fear for myself and fear for other women he may have harmed or will harm in the future. In a situation like this, customs and international affairs should have been involved,” she said.

“The RCMP are trying to cover up their tracks regarding the situation. They know what happened and chose to do nothing about it.”

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