An 18-year-old woman sleeping in her downtown apartment had a rude awakening Monday when a stranger touched her inappropriately.

Police said that at approximately 6 a.m., the woman, sleeping on her couch in an apartment complex in the 300 block of Chapel Street, awoke to find a man inappropriately touching her.

The suspect was confronted and left the apartment.


There were no physical injuries in the incident, police said.

"It's an unusual case," said Ottawa Police Staff Sgt. John McGetrick, who works in the Sexual Assault/Child Abuse Unit.

"We don't know if it's someone who got extremely intoxicated who started wandering around or if it's a predator."

Either way, "it's very unnerving behaviour," McGetrick said Monday.

McGetrick said police are issuing a public warning to let people know the incident happened in the downtown area and to remind residents to lock their doors.

"That goes a long way," he said.

The suspect is described by police as an English-speaking white male, 20- to 25-years-old, 6'1'' tall, with a large build, round face with glasses, unshaven, short black hair, wearing jeans and a light-coloured T-shirt.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Ottawa Police Service Sexual Assault/Child Abuse Unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5944 or Phone Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477 (TIPS).

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