A man is reported to have harassed two young boys at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre on Jan. 11, before again confronting the boys and their mother in the parking lot. (File photo)

UPDATED: Man makes lewd gestures in parking lot of Cowichan Aquatic Centre, after scaring boys in changeroom

Woman, two young boys, traumatized by series of events

Lisa Aeichele and her young son and his friend got more than they bargained for on a night out on Jan. 11.

Aeichele said her son and his friend, aged 10 and 11, were in the hot tub at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre on Friday night when a man, wearing underwear, who was also in the hot tub, began to make them uncomfortable with some of his words and actions.

The man, who is white and described as between 45 and 50 years old, then followed the boys into the changing rooms when they left the hot tub and became agitated with them when they wouldn’t take off their towels, and offered to take them off for them.

RELATED STORY: ANOTHER $400K NEEDED FOR EXPANSION AT COWICHAN AQUATIC CENTRE

Aeichele said the man then confronted her and her sons in the Aquatic Centre’s parking lot where he began to touch his penis in his pants, standing in front of their car and seemed to want to get in the car with them.

“I got the centre’s security people and they removed him from the area, but for smoking for some reason,” she said.

“I then took the boys to Wendy’s, which is across the street, and went through the restaurant’s drive-thru and this guy turned up there as well. He started gyrating his hips outside of my car and blowing us kisses.”

Aeichele said she phoned the RCMP, but the man ran off before the police arrived.

The police took witness statements regarding the events on the night of Jan. 11 and the investigation is continuing.

“It’s hard to describe exactly how we felt after these bizarre confrontations with this man, but I’m outraged that the boys had to go through this,” Aeichele said.

Aeichele described the man as being approximately five-foot-10, about 150 pounds, balding, unshaved and missing a front tooth.

At the time of the incident at the drive-thru, he was wearing a black hoodie with an anarchy logo on the front and black and grey New York jogger pants.

A statement from the Municipality of North Cowichan, which operates the aquatic centre, said that whenever North Cowichan receives complaints about violations of its user code of conduct at the aquatic centre, the municipality thoroughly investigates to determine what actions may be appropriate to respond to the complaints.

“When staff became aware of this incident, they discussed it with the complainant and the RCMP and undertook actions that are consistent with North Cowichan’s expectations for patron conduct,” the statement said.

“We typically do not publicize the exact outcomes of an inquiry into breach of conduct for the privacy of individuals involved. We want to reinforce that the Cowichan Aquatic Centre is a community facility and patrons are expected to conduct themselves in a safe and respectful manner at all times.”

This story has been corrected from an initial version that stated the two boys were both Lisa Aeichele’s sons.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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