(This post has been updated for clarity and to include additional information)
We have received reports of two men following or approaching female residents inappropriately in the neighbourhood during the past week.
The first man is described as a black male in his 40s, 6 ft., muscular and very persistent. He has been seen wearing a red jacket and has been described as “well dressed”. He has been seen a number of times in the past week on Amelia St., Wellesley St. and Sumach St. as well as in Riverdale Park West and also in Wellesley Park. He has been observed talking to himself.
In two incidents, on April 25 and 26 at approximately 7 p.m. this man approached a female resident walking her large dog and was persistent in following her and waited nearby while she spoke with a neighbour who she stopped for safety reasons – after 10 minutes the man moved on. These incidents have been reported to police at 51 division and a formal complaint made to the crime division.
The second man is described as a black male in his 40s, 6 ft., muscular, slightly smaller in stature than the first man and has been seen and photographed wearing a red cap, navy blue jacket with a white puffy vest. On May 2 at 8 a.m., this man approached a 14 year old girl walking on Sackville St. between Carlton and Winchester Streets. The man asked the girl if she had marijuana or cocaine and when she said no, he asked if he could hug her. After asking her a number of questions, he departed. A man matching the same description separately approached a 13 year old girl walking dogs in O’Riordan’s Lane around the same time, and persistently asked if he could talk to her and if he could hug her. The parents have contacted Toronto Police about these incidents.
Photographs of a person matching the description of the second man have been forwarded to us by a concerned resident and the girls believe that it is the same person and confirm that items that the man is carrying were also seen at the time of the incidents. Two other women have identified the same person and know his name – which has been reported to police – and cautioned that he has been seen very intoxicated on a number of mornings and has made aggressive sexual remarks to them.
We were contacted by yet another resident who has reported that they saw the two men sitting together in Wellesley Park, and that the second man has been seen walking down into the ravine from Wellesley Park.
During the evening of May 1, a woman walking dogs in Wellesley Park with her two teenaged daughters was also approached by a man and had to tell him to “get lost” before he would leave them alone, but it is not known if it was either of the two men.
Det. Ian MacDonald of Toronto Police has instructed that anyone who sees either of these men should call 51 Division at 416-808-5100, and say that “two men have been seen following women in Cabbagetown and I see a man who fits the description of one of them. Describe what the man is wearing to the dispatcher and cite complaint # 2017-751771. Indicate that it isn’t an emergency but that there is urgency since these men continue to harass women and girls in the neighbourhood. Also say that these instructions have been given by Detective Ian MacDonald and Detective Sergeant Michael Richmond”.
Update May 2 11 p.m.:
City News has reported on this issue focusing on aggressive panhandling which was part of one of the sightings noted above but was aired prior to the reports of a second man.
Cabbagetown residents on guard for aggressive panhandler (citynews.ca)
If you have any information about this or any other matter of similar concern – call Toronto Police. Also, be sure to report crimes of any severity or value to the police as they monitor these reports and assign resources accordingly. If you would like to let fellow residents know also, please contact us and let us know what you would be comfortable with us sharing.