The Abbotsford Police Department is seeking the public’s help to solve a “disturbing” assault which took place at the local Costco store.
On Saturday, Oct. 8, a seven-year-old boy was assaulted in the men’s washroom while his father and sister waited outside.
The boy entered the restroom at approximately 12:15 p.m., went inside a washroom stall and locked the door.
While in the stall a suspect male – estimated to be approximately 10 years old – crawled under the stall, assaulted, and bit the younger boy on the lip. The damage to the young boy’s lip was severe enough to require treatment and stitches in hospital.
The suspect is described as having dark hair and wearing dark clothing (and possibly a camouflage style sweater).
The APD’s Major Crime Unit is investigating the incident, and detectives are seeking witnesses who may have observed any element, or who may have information about it.
Const. Ian MacDonald said the suspect could be older than first thought.
“We have to remember that this is a seven-year-old who is estimating the suspect’s age. All he knows is the boy was bigger than he was.”
According to MacDonald, the father heard the boy scream and rushed into the bathroom to find him crying and bleeding. It took time to calm the boy down. It wasn’t until they were at the hospital that the parent realized an assault had occurred.
“Any parent is going to assume the child fell or hit his lip somehow,” he said.
“In my career as a police officer, I have never heard of a child being assaulted with the parent so close … this is a weird and disturbing incident,” said MacDonald.
About 10-12 people were in the washroom at the time of the incident, and MacDonald is hoping someone will come forward with information.
He is also reaching out to any parent or caregiver who was at Costco on Oct. 8, and whose child might match the description of the suspect.
“They would know if they were there, and they would know if their child had gone to the washroom at about that time.”
Anyone with information should contact the Abbotsford Police Department at 604-859-5225 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.