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Homeless man charged with attempting to sexually assault 13-year-old in Duncan

Incident happened at restaurant with many witnesses
A man has been arrested and charged with trying to sexually assault a 13-year-old at a Duncan restaurant. (Citizen file)

A homeless man has been charged with trying to sexually assault a 13-year-old at a Duncan restaurant on Friday, Nov. 4.

Just after 12 p.m. the North Cowichan Duncan RCMP was dispatched to a report of a sexual interference incident at a restaurant in the 5800 block of Trans-Canada Highway.

“It was quickly determined that an elderly man attempted to touch a 13-year-old female for a sexual purpose,” the RCMP said in a press release.

“This incident occurred during the lunch hour when many customers were present including a number of youth from the junior high school,” said Sgt. Chris Manseau, spokesperson for the BC RCMP. “The male was arrested without incident and charged with sexual interference.”

Mike Russell, director of communications for the school district said that the victim was a Cowichan Valley School District student and confirmed that a number of other students witnessed the incident.

“As the incident occurred, all the students did the right thing and immediately went to security, who in turn called the RCMP,” he said.

Michael Cridland, 72 of no fixed address in Duncan has since been released with a court date in January 2023. Cridland is to abide by several conditions including no contact with the victim, not to attend the McDonald’s restaurant at 5883 Trans Canada Hwy., and not to be in the presence anyone under the age of 16 without a sober adult present.

“The investigation is continuing with investigators still speaking with witnesses who were present during the incident. If you were present at the time of the incident, have first hand knowledge, and haven’t yet been contacted by the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP please contact them,” Manseau added.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522.

Andrea Rondeau

About the Author: Andrea Rondeau

I returned to B.C. and found myself at the Cowichan Valley Citizen.
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