In a recent disturbing occurrence, a man of 26 years has been taken into police custody. The arrest follows allegations of a sexual assault that transpired at a Saanich shopping mall.
An unsuspecting juvenile female was reported to have been accosted by a man unknown to her. According to statements released by Saanich police, the incident happened at about 4:30 pm on a Wednesday in one of the stores at the Tillicum Centre mall.
As detailed by the police, the man engaged the girl in a conversation, asked her for a hug, and subsequently escalated the situation into a sex crime.
In the wake of the horrific incident, the young girl took the courageous step to disclose the assault to the mall’s security department once the assailant had taken leave of the store.
Reacting promptly, the mall’s security personnel found the man in another section of the shopping complex. Shortly after, the police officer arrived to effect the arrest.
Joel Pich, the apprehended suspect, has been kept in police custody and is currently facing a single charge of sexual assault.
Praising the brave actions of the young victim, Saanich police spokesperson, Const. Markus Anastasiades, emphasized the import of her timely notification. He credited her quick thinking and immediate report with significantly contributing to the suspect’s successful identification, arrest, and potential prevention of further sex crimes.