Nanaimo RCMP are warning the public to be on the lookout on local trails after a man exposed himself to a woman on the Beach Estates Trail.
The incident occurred at about 12:15 p.m. last Wednesday, April 27.
The witness described the suspect as a man in his mid 20s with brown curly hair and glasses, and at the time of the incident he was wearing a black jacket with grey sleeves, black sweatpants and grey runners. He was last seen at Brooks Landing shopping centre.
“Our city parks and trails are used by thousands of people every year for hiking, biking, jogging and a variety of other uses and are inherently safe. Unfortunately, like other communities, indecent exposures occur from time to time,” said reserve Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, in a press release. “Staying alert, maintaining spatial awareness and reacting properly are several ways to react if confronted.”
Police offer the following tips to assist parks and trails users in staying safe:
When on a trail, police suggest looking around from time to time to see who is nearby, and if uncomfortable, moving over to the side of the trail and letting people pass. Parks and trail users should carry a cell phone or whistle.
If confronted by someone committing an indecent act, police advise staying calm and leaving the area immediately and, when safe to do so, reporting the incident and telling other trail users of the situation.
People concerned for their safety should run in the opposite direction and make noise. Carrying pepper spray is an option, but should only be used by someone who fears for their safety, say police.
People who wear earbuds should keep the volume at a reasonable level so they can hear others who are sharing the space.
Police remind parks and trail users that they should remove all valuables from vehicles before setting out on a hike, or better yet, leave valuables at home. Criminals often wait until vehicle owners are several minutes in to their walks before breaking into vehicles.
Anyone with information about the Beach Estates Trail incident is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file No. 2022-13979.