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Man arrested in weekend East Van groping, assault incidents

Sgt. Steve Addison says VPD is investigating whether the assaults are linked to others in the city
A Vancouver Police Department patch is seen on an officer’s uniform in Vancouver, on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

A 35-year-old man has been arrested in connection to back-to-back random assaults this weekend.

Police say a man was walking near Broadway and Commercial Drive around 8 a.m. Sunday (Aug. 15) when he allegedly approached a man outside a fast-food restaurant and sexually assaulted him by groping him from behind. A number of people saw the incident and called 911, but the suspect fled before police arrived.

RELATED: Police report 129% spike in stranger sexual assaults in Vancouver, warn of disturbing trend

Moments later, the same man assaulted a woman who was walking alone near Commercial Drive and East 12th Avenue, pushing her against a fence and punching her. Another witness called 911.

Officers arrested a suspect nearby, but charges have not yet been laid. It’s believe the attacks were completely unprovoked.

Vancouver Police have seen a significant increase in stranger assaults and sexual assaults this summer. In July alone, there was a 129 per cent increase in stranger sexual assaults reported to police.

Investigators are working to determine any possible motive between these most recent attacks and determing any links to other sex assaults.


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