The Winnipeg Police Service is currently conducting an investigation into three separate suspicious incidents that occurred on Thursday within the River East Transcona and Louis Riel School Divisions, raising concerns about the safety of school-aged children.
The first incident unfolded around 3:45 p.m. on the premises of Wayoata Elementary School in Transcona. According to reports, a man approached two children aged between nine and 11 years old. The suspect interacted with the victims and made an unsuccessful attempt to pull them towards him. When the children resisted and broke free, the individual fled the scene, fleeing north on Wayoata Street towards Kildare Avenue East.
A few blocks away, at approximately 4:45 p.m., another suspicious incident occurred at Arthur Day Middle School. Police disclosed that an 11-year-old child was approached by a man driving a four-door grey sedan. Allegedly, the suspect exited his vehicle and attempted to entice the child to his home with the promise of candy and video games. However, the quick-thinking victim managed to escape the man’s grasp. The suspect, believed to be around 40 years old, swiftly departed the area before law enforcement arrived.
The third incident was reported around 5 p.m. by officials from Victor H.L Wyatt School in St. Vital. School staff notified the police that an unidentified man was observed observing children during the lunch hour. The suspect, described as being between 40 and 50 years old, did not approach or engage with anyone and left when approached by school personnel.
While investigating these incidents, police are examining the possibility of a connection between them. However, no definitive confirmation has been provided at this time.
School division officials have been in communication with the school engagement section and are actively informing parents of the situation.
The Winnipeg Police Service’s child abuse unit is leading the investigation into these troubling incidents. Individuals with any information, including potential home surveillance footage from the affected areas, are urged to contact the police at 204-986-3296. Alternatively, anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 204-786-8477.
The safety and well-being of our children are of utmost importance, and the cooperation of the community in assisting with this investigation is greatly appreciated.