A Prince George man has been arrested and charged after a report of a kidnapping and sexual assault that prompted police to warn the public, especially women, to be careful when travelling alone.
Sukhjinder Singh, 26, is scheduled to appear in court again Oct. 19, 2017 to answer to one count of kidnapping and one count of sexual assault. He made his first appearance this week.
The charges stem from an incident on Sep. 3, 2017 at a Prince George gas station parking lot. Investigators say a woman was trying to fix a tire when a man, who was parked nearby, offered to help.
When the tire could not be repaired, the man then offered the woman a ride home, which she agreed to.
But instead, police say, the suspect drove to another parking lot, held her against her will and sexually assaulted her.
The woman was reported to have fended off the man and escaped on foot.
"Charges such as forcible confinement and kidnapping are not something we deal with everyday," Prince George RCMP Insp. Shaun Wright told reporters at a news conference.
But what makes the case even more unique is that the alleged attacker and victim don't appear to know each other.
"[Kidnapping] incidents that involve a suspect who is a stranger to the victim are quite rare," said Wright.
Little is known about the accused, except that he does not have a prior criminal record.
"Naturally, everyone always thinks it's going to be your prolific offender. But [cases could] be one-offs. They can definitely be people who haven't hit our radar," said Wright.
"People should feel safe. These are relatively rare incidents."
Police probe other cases
Police say the September incident occurred just a few blocks from another one in which a female jogger was reportedly attacked from behind at Foothills Boulevard. and Ochakwin Crescent.
Investigators described the suspect as a South Asian male with a slight accent, in his mid-to-late 20s with brown eyes, short brown hair, and facial hair.
The description is close to that of a suspect wanted in connection with a series of indecent acts reported earlier this year.
"There's some similarities between [them] but there's insufficient evidence at this time to support charges," said Wright.
"But we are actively pursuing that avenue of investigation."