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Sexual Assault Unit Seeks Public Assistance

NRPS Media Release

Members of the Niagara Regional Police Service, Sexual Assault Unit are presently investigating a reported ‘Break enter and commit’ sexual assault that took place this past Saturday, January 19th, 2008, at the City of St. Catharines.

Investigation has revealed that two females attended a high-end dance / nightclub in the City of Niagara Falls in the late hours of Friday, January 18th. During the course of the evening one of the females became intoxicated in a manner that has lead police to believe that her rapid loss of bodily control was drug facilitated.

This media release is being made in an attempt to identify three males who may have information relevant to this investigation. The first male came to the aid of the obviously injured woman and her friend in the early morning hours of Saturday, January 19th,on Fallsview Boulevard near Murray Street. Police wish to speak with that male, along with two other males who attempted to assist the group on the 5th floor of an adjacent parking garage where they searched for a parked vehicle. These two males have been described as well dressed men in their thirties, possibly of East Indian decent. The group would have been in the parking garage at approximately 3:30 AM.

The Niagara Regional Police Service is also attempting to locate a 2007 Kia Sedo, 4 door black sedan, bearing Ontario marker AKFW 966 which was involved in the incident and may now be parked abandoned

The Niagara Regional Police Service would also like to take this opportunity to advise the public that caution should be used when venturing out into the world of high-end dance/nightclubs.

The ‘clubbing scene’ has long been recognized as an opportunity to employ the use of certain drugs or substances that are easily slipped into beverages that can quickly cause unexpected episodes of extreme intoxication. These episodes leave the unsuspecting victims exceptionally vulnerable to crimes of violence and a number of these occurrences have taken place within the Niagara Region over the past several years.

The Niagara Region Sexual Assault Centre (CARSA), the Sexual Assault/ Domestic Violence Treatment Program of the Niagara Health Systems and the Niagara Regional Police Service agree that the public can take a number of steps to prevent drug facilitated sexual assaults and offer the following suggestions;

• Never leave a drink unattended
• Ensure you have transportation to and from the place you are attending so that you do not have to rely on new-found friends to provide you with a ride
• Whenever possible, observe your requested drink as it is poured and transported to you
• Never accept a drink from a person who you do not know and trust
• Always be vigilant and aware of your surroundings in clubs
• Attend these locations with persons whom you trust and know will ensure your welfare is protected
• Do not leave your friends alone in the company of strangers
• Be alert to sudden and unexplained episodes of intoxication that are out of character for friends
• Be alert to the uncharacteristic behavior of friends
• Be alert to people around you who appear to show up during times where rapid intoxication has occurred. As well, alert to those people who offer assistance or seek to socialize with anyone who has become overtly intoxicated
• When in doubt ask for the assistance of emergency services personnel i.e.: police or EMS
• Do not rely solely on the security staff of these premises to ensure your safety

Anyone who may have information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Niagara Regional Police Detectives B. Elliott or K. Wegelin at 905-688-4111 ext. 5131 or 5122, respectively. To leave an anonymous tip or information, please contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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