COMOX, B.C- The police in the Comox Valley are still looking for a suspicious man.
On July 24 around 4:30 p.m., a young man had been walking along Guthrie Road near Anderton when he was followed by a man who appeared to be homeless.
While he was following the boy, the man made an inappropriate comment. The man continued to follow the boy toward Highland School, where the boy was picked up. The man later carried on walking on Guthrie.
The man appeared to be in his 60’s, with a large grey beard. He was white, wearing a blue shirt and blue pants, and carried a grey winter coat.
The police did not immediately issue a notice about the incident, and Constable Monika Terragni of the Comox Valley RCMP said this was done to allow officers time to investigate the report. During that time, they gathered evidence from the victim and tried to identify the man.
A similar incident occurred in late April of this year, when two teenaged boys were propositioned by an older homeless man with a hunched back in the Crown Isle dollar store.
During the conversation, the man offered both boys $10 as payment for sex. The students left the area with friends and reported what had happened to their school principal, who in turn contacted the local RCMP detachment.
The police, who had come into contact with the man earlier in the day at the North Island College campus, went to the school to speak with the students about what had happened. The man was later picked up, and questioned by police.
No charges were laid, and the man was later released by police. The detachment later indicated that no charges would be forthcoming.
According to Terragni, no evidence suggests that the April incident and the recent one in Comox are connected. He is also not believed to be an “imminent threat”.
“The suspicious man made an inappropriate comment to the youth – he did not touch the youth, make any threats, or proposition the youth,” said Terragni.
“We do not have any evidence to suggest that this suspicious man is an imminent threat to the public, rather, we would like to speak with him so that we can understand the motivation behind his behaviour. An incident like this could be the result of a lack of social skills, mental heath issue, alcohol/drug impairment, dementia, or poor judgement; however, we cannot confirm this without speaking to the suspicious man.”
She asked for anyone encountering a similar situation to contact police at their first opportunity.
“The people involved in this incident did everything right,” said Terragni.
“This is an opportunity to speak with local youth about what to do if they encounter a similar situation.”