Kelowna Mounties are seeking witnesses of a potential attempted child luring from Ben Lee park Wednesday evening.
The circumstances were explained in an open letter widely circulated on social media.
“I was playing with my two children…. and my three year old was less than 15 feet away from me on a play structure. My vision was slightly blocked by the slide as she was climbing down the ladder when I noticed a male, mid 30s, making hand motions to “come here” to my daughter,” writes a Kelowna woman of the harrowing Wednesday night experience.
“As I approached I heard him say, ‘come here, come here, I will show you come now.'”
The woman alleged that the man then reached for her little girl’s arm. The girl looked toward her mother and yelled “mommy” very loudly. Another child, estimated to be six years old, was also involved in this interaction, and he ran to his own parent at that time.
“(The man) made eye contact with me for a few seconds and turned and ran up the hill toward Franklin Road and Leathead,” she wrote. “I cannot express this enough.. this sicko attempted this 15 feet away from me.”
RCMP officers flooded the area in search of the man who reportedly left on foot towards Franklyn Road.
The man was described to police as:
- a half Caucasian and half South Asian male;
- in his mid-30s to early 40s;
- at least 6 feet tall;
- 160 lbs;
- medium athletic build;
- short black hair;
- clean cut with a chin strap beard;
- spoke with an accent
- seen wearing a black shirt with a white logo, bright blue board shorts and sneakers;
- tattoo on right forearm, possibly of writing which went all the way around his forearm;
“Investigators are interested in speaking with the family of the young boy who may have also spoken with this man, as well as any other witnesses who may have information to assist in this investigation,” says Const. Jesse O’Donaghey. “The RCMP would also like to urge the man himself, if he is reading this, to come forward and speak with police,” adds O’Donaghey.
O’Donaghey also said parents are reminded to supervise and safe guard their children while they are at play. Make sure that you and your child have a protocol in place regarding stranger safety,.
For additional safety tips please visit the BC RCMP Website at http://bit.ly/2ahg1OB
Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Kelowna RCMP General Investigation Section (GIS) at 250-762-3300. Remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, leaving a tip online at www.crimestoppers.net or by texting your tip to CRIMES (274637) ktown.