Police in Coquitlam are investigating after an alleged confrontation between a man and a nine-year-old boy occurred in a local park this week.
According to police, the incident took place around 1 pm on March 16 on the north side of Victoria Park (3435 Victoria Drive).
Police have stated they want “to hear the man’s side of the story,” and until they do, “it’s important that people avoid drawing conclusions based on early, incomplete information.”
They are also asking the public to “keep an open mind” about the whole situation.
“In almost every emergency, the facts that were initially reported can change dramatically as the investigation progresses,” said Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Michael McLaughlin. “Many similar confrontations are initially reported as stranger abductions, yet confirmed cases are extremely rare.”
As such, he said, “it’s important that people avoid drawing conclusions based on early reports they read on social media.”
The man in question is described as a Caucasian man in his 50s, with short brown hair and a brown beard. He was possibly wearing blue jeans and a black denim vest or jacket at the time of the incident and was driving a newer model silver sedan or coupe.
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Police noted the weather was sunny at the time of the incident, and as a result, the park was very busy. “Police are hoping that someone who saw the man, or the man himself, will call police and explain what happened,” said McLaughlin.
“It’s completely understandable that people are concerned, and police take these reports very seriously, but it’s important that everyone remain calm,” he added. “Our Major Crime Unit has been assigned. Their number one priority is public safety and if there is any further risk to the public, we’ll let you know right away.”
Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed what happened – including the man himself – to contact them at 604-945-1550 and ask to speak to the Major Crime Unit.