A Guildford mom is urging residents to “be vigilant” after her teenage daughter was allegedly assaulted after getting off a bus shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday night.
“She walked in and she was really shaken and scared and crying,” Patricia Elliot told the Now-Leader Thursday morning. “My heart just kind of stopped.”
Elliot said her daughter was returning home from a friend’s house in Newton when it happened.
“She took the 96 B-Line down 104th Avenue and apparently the guy was on the bus as well,” she said. “He followed her off the bus and she didn’t think anything of it at first.”
When the man’s pace began to speed up, “that’s when she had an idea that something was amiss,” said Elliot. “He got up to her and grabbed her by her upper arm and she elbowed him with her free arm and managed to get away. She’s a really tall girl so I guess when she elbowed him, she probably got him more toward the lower throat. She was able to get a good enough hit that he let her go.”
Elliot said it happened near 144th Street and 106th Ave.
She credits her daughter’s escape to a self defence class at Guildford Park Secondary.
“I’m thankful to Guildford Park Secondary for providing a self defence session, otherwise this could have ended very differently,” she added.
Elliot is urging the Guildford community to be cautious, and be on the lookout for a man that her daughter described as in his early 30s, six feet two inches tall, dark skinned and was wearing a black hoodie at the time.
“Be vigilant,” she said. “Hopefully, whoever it is will be found before someone gets hurt.”
After the alleged assault, Elliot said she called police, who took her daughter’s statement and “did a sweep of the area.”
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Surrey RCMP Corporal Scotty Schumann confirmed that police attended and patrol officers did not locate any suspects Wednesday night.
“The file is under investigation still with the investigator going to do some neighbourhood canvassing for witnesses or video,” Schumann added.
No public warning is being issued because “someone grabbed by the arm is a simple assault,” he said.
“There is no information at this point to believe it is anything more than that,” Schumann noted. “If the gravity of the situation changes we would certainly revisit the prospect of a warning if required.”
School district spokesman Doug Strachan told the Now-Leader Thursday afternoon that nearby schools won’t be issuing a notice to parents at this time.
“Our Safe Schools people work closely with the RCMP and we’re all mindful to alert our school communities when there’s a safety risk. However, at this point, the investigation is continuing,” said Strachan.
But Elliot thinks the public should, at least, be aware.
“While we do not know the man’s intentions specifically because she got away fairly quickly, due to her quick thinking, I do still believe that the public should be warned,” she said. “I mean what other reason would a man have to grab a teenage girl than with the intent to do something heinous?”