Two incidents involving suspicious person attributed to “socially awkward” individual

UW Police Services (UWPS) confirmed that the two incidents involving a tall, Asian, male suspect who approached two female students on campus were cases of an individual being “socially awkward.”

The first incident occurred Nov. 4, just after noon outside of RCH; the second occurred the following day around 11 a.m. on the roadway between CIET and ENG 3. 

Dan Anderson, director of UWPS, said, “The student, after we interviewed him and realized what he had been doing from his perspective, has not committed any offence… his intent was not malicious.”

Staff sergeant Dale Roe, operations manager for UWPS, said the similar times, locations, and description of the incidents and the suspect strongly suggested the same man was involved in both cases. 

During these incidents, the suspect approached the female students and blocked their path. In the first reported situation, the male “grabbed her hand,” suggested he thought she was good looking, and wanted to talk to her. 

During the following day’s incident, the other female student backed away when the suspect attempted to grab her, a similar conversation followed, however, the female student also reported the suspect tried to block her from walking away, and she was forced to run. The suspect appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

UW police received 20 to 30 connected tips before they identified the suspect.

“We certainly took all the concerns of the people who sent in any information very seriously,” Anderson said. “We’re extremely pleased so many people responded to us seeking information on this.”

According to Anderson, Waterloo Regional Police Services (WRPS) said they were surprised by the sheer number of tips they received in such a short period of time.  

He added UWPS has made sure the male student understood the concern of the two females he approached on campus.

“We’re satisfied the male had no ill-intent in his approaches to women,” Anderson said. “We’ve given him suggestions on how to properly and appropriately start those interactions [with women].”

Anderson has told the two females, who notified UWPS originally, about a man approaching them on campus that they had identified and spoken to the suspect.

UWPS has not received any questions or concerns regarding their explanation of the two incidents.

“I’m sure some of them were very concerned about how this guy approached, but we still had to deal with university policies and laws, and we’re not seeing he’s breached any of those,” Anderson said.

Anderson could not confidently say whether or not the student will face further disciplinary action.

Students with any information for UWPS are encouraged to contact campus police or use their anonymous reporting system.  


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