Quesnel RCMP are investigating an incident where a 17-year old girl had a physical altercation with a stranger after she refused to give him money.
Sergeant Clay Kronebusch says it happened on Thursday afternoon at around 2-50 while she was walking on the trail that connects Anderson Drive and Avery Avenue.
“When the girl refused, the man grabbed her arm and a brief struggle occurred. The girl was able to pull away from the man and report the incident to the police. The investigation is ongoing and police are working on identifying the suspect.”
Kronebusch says the girl was not physically hurt.
She says the victim was able to provide a description of the suspect.
“The man is described as a Caucasian male, approximately 5 foot 8, 160 pounds, approximately 50 years old with grey brown hair, a beard and wearing a black puffy jacket, black pants and a back pack.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Quesnel RCMP.
Kronebusch says there are definitive rules around panhandling.
“People are allowed to ask for money. There are stipulations around where they can ask for it. For example you can’t panhandle in front of a bank, you have to be so far from certain locations, you can’t block people’s access form where they’re going or interfere with their movement. That becomes an offence once they start doing that. And then obviously once you lay hands on somebody that becomes an assault.”
Kronebusch encourages parents to have discussions with their children about safety and walking alone.
He says it’s always safer to walk in pairs or larger groups and avoid remote or unlit areas.