UPDATE (Jan 26, 2023):
The man arrested for the alleged assault has been cleared of all charges after no evidence from witnesses and the five-year-old victim was found.
ORIGINAL STORY (Jan 24, 2023):
A man was arrested and an investigation is underway after police say he was seen grabbing a five-year-old girl’s arm on a BC Transit bus between Sparwood and Fernie.
A concerned mother had let the police know that her daughter was approached by an unknown non-white man.
The report said he was taking photos of her daughter and that he may have grabbed her arm in an attempt to get a better angle with his camera.
A second parent said their child had also witnessed the event.
The driver of the bus hadn’t seen the man before but saw him on the bus again the next day.
Police then arrested the man for assault.
Police say they talked to the witnesses and their families and checked the 25-year-old suspect’s police history.
He’s been released with conditions including no contact with the victim, no access to the BC Transit system and no contact with anyone under the age of 14.
His name cannot be released as Crown Counsel has not yet approved a charge against the suspect.
Elk Valley RCMP officials said the investigation will take some time and are asking for any witnesses who may have seen the incident on Jan. 23 between 8 – 8:30 a.m.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the detachment at 250-425-6233.
Police also said some misinformation has been going around social media about the incident.
Police said people have been saying online that the suspect was found with multiple weapons.
They said this is not true and the only thing on his person was a cell phone.
“Elk Valley RCMP cautions anyone from manufacturing false information on an active Police investigation which may hinder the fact-finding efforts being completed by the investigators,” said police officials.