Police say assault suspect also 'person of interest' in stalking case, Vancouver woman followed says it's not the same man
VANCOUVER -- Police say a man arrested for assault in downtown Vancouver Friday morning is also a "person of interest" in the case of a woman who was followed for roughly 40 minutes in Chinatown earlier in the week.
“Yesterday morning, a man was arrested after assaulting a female victim in downtown Vancouver,” said Vancouver Police Department spokesperson Const. Tania Visintin in a news release Saturday.
“From this investigation, officers have identified a person of interest in the stalking case," she added.
Police have not shared the identity of the man, saying only that he is a 33-year-old Vancouver resident.
He is being held in jail and the VPD has recommended assault charges against him to Crown counsel, police said.
On Saturday, Jamie Coutts told CTV News she has spoken to VPD and told them she does not believe the man they arrested for the assault is the one who followed her.
Vancouver police did not describe the arrested man as a suspect in the stalking case, only as a "person of interest."
Visintin told CTV News via email that the investigation in the stalking case is "active and ongoing."
She added that she could not discuss details about how the investigation is being conducted "in order to preserve the integrity of the file."
The stalking incident happened Wednesday evening. Coutts had just finished her grocery shopping and was walking home, when she felt like someone was following her.
“I first noticed he was following me between Keefer Street and Keefer Place,” she told CTV News Vancouver during an interview on Friday. “I decided to film so I could see how close behind me he was and what he was doing.”
Coutts described stopping to let the man pass, but said he just stared at her. He didn't respond when she told him he was walking too close to her. He just continued following.
In the video, which Coutts later posted to her Facebook page, the man can be seen walking behind her, keeping pace with her as she walks around the block multiple times to confirm her suspicion about what was happening.
Coutts eventually approached a group of strangers in a skate park and asked if she could sit with them until the man left. She reported the incident to police once she felt safe.
Since Coutts posted about the incident, other women have come forward to share similar stories of being stalked in Vancouver.
March 21: The headline of this story was updated from a previous version to more fully reflect the contents of the story. Specifically, the new headline now includes mention of the fact that Coutts says the man police arrested is not the same man who followed her.