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Man charged after police catch him in alleged ‘indecent act’ in Abbotsford park

Incident on May 3 follows previous complaints in Elwood Park
Richard Renning of Abbotsford has been charged after allegedly committing an indecent act in a local park on May 3. (Facebook photo)

A man with several prior convictions for committing an indecent act in a public place has been arrested and charged after police caught him in an alleged indecent act on May 3 at an Abbotsford park.

Abbotsford Police media officer Sgt. Paul Walker said officers responded at 9:36 a.m.. that day to Elwood Park – in the 31400 block of Maclure Road – after a woman reported that a man had been exposing himself to people in the park.

Officers who arrived on scene found the suspect in some bushes and “observed him performing a further indecent act,” Walker said.

The man tried to run away, but was caught by officers and arrested.

Richard Renning, 56, has been charged with committing an indecent act in a public place. He remains in custody pending his next court appearance.

According to the provincial court database, Renning has several prior convictions for the same offence – in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016 in Vancouver; 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2019 in Richmond; 2016 on University Endowment Lands; and 2020 in Burnaby.

He also has numerous other convictions for offences such as break-and-enter, possession of stolen property, breaching his probation, theft, escape from lawful custody, dangerous driving, mischief and causing a disturbance.

On Renning’s Facebook page, he lists himself as an “intern pastor” at an Aldergrove ministry and states that he studied at the Willingdon Church School of the Bible and Ministry.

RELATED: Man exposed himself to woman in Abbotsford park, say police

Walker said investigators are now looking into previously reported incidents to determine if there are any connections to Renning.

Police on April 26 released a composite sketch of a suspect who had exposed himself to a woman – also at Elwood Park – on March 30.

The victim then reported that she saw the same man in the park on April 14 and he followed her before walking away.

The suspect was described as tanned, 40 to 50 years old, about five-foot-eight and with grey hair.

Anyone with information or who might have experienced similar incidents is asked to call the Abbotsford Police Department’s general investigation section at 604-864-4702.

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Vikki Hopes

About the Author: Vikki Hopes

I have been a journalist for almost 40 years, and have been at the Abbotsford News since 1991.
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