By Allan Woods
Police have arrested and charged a 21-year-old man in connection with an attempted sexual assault that occurred early Monday morning in O’Keefe Lane, behind the Ryerson bookstore.
Ryerson security officials said a custodian who was working on the seventh-floor of the library around 4 a.m. heard a woman’s screams coming from Gould Street.
After running to the dark alley, he witnessed what appeared to be a sexual assault, but was unable to catch the alleged attacker before he fled east on Gould Street, turning south on Bond Street.
Police later arrested a suspect, with the help of its canine unit, at a nearby homeless shelter.
The victim, who wasn’t a Ryerson student, was taken to St. Michael’s hospital with a bloody nose, treated and released.
Janet Mays, director of Ryerson’s harassment prevention services, said the people involved in the incident were “two street kids” who met an hour before the alleged assault took place.
Monday morning’s attack follows and Oct. 12 incident in which an unknown man approached a woman, who also wasn’t a Ryerson student, as she walked on McGill Street.
Security officials say the suspect, described as a 30-year old East Indian, 5 feet 7 inches and wearing a beige winter coat with a hood, yelled “you wanna get raped?” and chased her as far as the apartment building at 40 Gerard St. E.
It also comes on the heels of two alleged indecent exposures in the library. Student groups and employee unions complained that security took too long to alert the Ryerson community about the incidents, and didn’t identify the suspect, even though they know who he is.
In response to the heightened attention recently given to campus security, Ryerson president Claude Lajeunesse posted a letter around campus reaffirming the university’s commitment to a safe environment.
“Security patrols in the library are on heightened alert, effective immediately,” the letter read. “You should also know that despite the budget pressures there have been no reductions in security staffing levels.”