City police are asking the public to be vigilant as they investigate the report of a male linked to two separate incidents in the west end earlier this week.
At approximately 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, a 17-year-old girl was walking on Knudson Drive near Shaughnessy Crescent in Kanata when a male walking towards her from the opposite direction allegedly touched her inappropriately.
The girl continued walking at a faster pace and subsequently observed the male drive by in a dark green van.
"This incident is very concerning," Ottawa Police Staff Sgt. John McGetrick, with the Sexual Assault/Child Abuse Unit, said Thursday. "There was physical contact. It was a very aggressive move."
Monday, an 11-year-old boy and his friend said a male in a dark-coloured van followed them as they walked in the area of Salter Crescent around 5 p.m.
"We don't want to create fear mongering, but we want people to be warned," said McGetrick.
"There's probably a lot more people walking than usual with the bus strike. We want them to be vigilant -- people with bad intentions might take advantage of the situation."
McGetrick suggests that people walk in pairs, and let someone know when they are leaving an area or when their expected arrival time is.
The suspect in both incidents is described as a white male in his late 30s to early 40s, approximately 6'2", 220 pounds with a stocky build and scruffy facial hair. He was a wearing light-coloured ski jacket and a two-toned toque at the time of the incident.
The vehicle is described as a newer model minivan, possibly a Ford Windstar.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Ottawa Police Service Sexual Assault/Child Abuse Unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5944 or Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477 (TIPS).