Calgary woman issues warning following indecent act in broad daylight
A Calgary woman is speaking publicly about a disturbing encounter after she said a man followed her and exposed himself on a busy street in the city’s southwest.
“He turned down the street and opened his window and he was trying to talk to me,” the woman said in a video on social media. “He was fully unclothed from the waist down… and was fully masturbating.”
The victim said the man had been following her in a white pickup truck while she walked throughout the community of Mission.
She said she made eye contact with him several times before he exposed himself.
“I saw him multiple times in his white, Dodge 1,500. He’s about 35 and he followed me down Elbow and down 4 Street.”
Meaghan Walsh said she was eating outside around 4 p.m. on Thursday when she noticed the woman and caught the tail end of the incident.
“All of a sudden I heard, ‘Are you kidding me?,’” she said. “Like a shriek and scream and I see a pickup truck speed away, so I knew immediately something had happened and it was bad.”
“I tend to take notice when women are walking alone, because I hope women are doing that when I’m walking alone,” Walsh explained.
Walsh said she immediately rushed over to see if the woman was okay.
“I crossed the street and could see that she was on the phone with 911,” Walsh said. “I asked her if it would be okay if I stood next to her.”
“She just wanted to feel safe, she needed a police car there and she made that so clear on the phone.”
However Walsh and the victim said a police officer never arrived at the scene and after more than forty minutes the victim had a friend come pick her up.
“Ten minutes turned into 20 and at the 20-minute mark the dispatcher asked ‘Is it okay if I let you go and take other calls right now?’” Walsh said.
In a statement, the Calgary Police Service said it is investigating the incident to see exactly what happened and have spoken with the victim.
“We are aware of concerns raised by a complainant regarding an indecent act that occurred in the Mission area yesterday afternoon,” the statement said.
“We understand there are frustrations and acknowledge requests for more information regarding our response time in this instance, and we are working to determine exactly what occurred.”
Meanwhile, this incident comes on the heels of a string of troubling crimes targeting women in Calgary.
Last weekend police charged a man with sexual assault after at least five women were groped within a 30-minute period.
In March, 31-year-old Vanessa Ladouceur was attacked and killed by a stranger on her way to work downtown.
Advocates working to end violence against women are now planning to hold a rally at 10 a.m. on Sunday in Tomkins Park in her honour.
“I think for a moment we all kind of felt hopeless and scared,” Stephanie Colangeli with Pin-Up-Girl said. “We got together and thought what could we do? How could we prevent these things from happening?”
“As a woman it makes you feel unsafe and afraid.”
Part of Pin-Up-Girl’s advocacy work includes distributing red pins for female-identifying people to wear so if someone is being harassed or attacked they know they can go to them for help.
Colangeli is now applauding Walsh’s actions for trying to support the distressed woman.
“I think that’s a Pin-Up-Girl right here,” Colangeli said. “Someone who would leave and go check up on the well-being of someone else. That’s what we’re all about.”