Ottawa man charged in random attacks on Rideau Street

An Ottawa man has been charged with five counts of assault after a series of seemingly random attacks on passersby on Rideau Street Tuesday.

Woman who was kicked says man filmed her reaction after 'random act of senseless violence'

Stephanie McLeod took this photo of the man in the blue jeans and black jacket she said kicked her on Rideau Street earlier this week. (Stephanie McLeod)

An Ottawa man has been charged with five counts of assault after a series of seemingly random attacks on people walking down Rideau Street Tuesday. 

Stephanie McLeod said she was walking along Rideau Street near King Edward Avenue around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday when a complete stranger who had been leaning against a post quickly turned and kicked her in the thigh.

I didn't understand. I didn't do anything to antagonize this person.- Stephanie McLeod

She said when she turned around to see who had kicked her, a man was filming her with his phone.

"I didn't understand. I didn't do anything to antagonize this person," she said Thursday.

"It was a random act of senseless violence. I'm still confused," she said. "I didn't really understand what happened at first. I looked back and there was a boot print on my leg."

Police said in a news release Thursday afternoon that a 26-year-old Ottawa man has been charged with five counts of assault. The accused appeared in court Wednesday and was remanded into custody until March 19. 

Ottawa police said they are concerned there could be more victims. 

Stephanie McLeod describes being kicked by a random stranger on Ottawa's Rideau Street — and then having her reaction filmed. 1:04

Feeling unsafe

McLeod said she asked people nearby if they saw the attack, but nobody had.

She then followed the man at a safe distance to take some photos, which she said she sent to police.

She said she's trying to shake off the incident, but it's been difficult. 

"I have never really felt unsafe in this city — I was born and raised here — but now I definitely do," she said. "I am trying not to give into that fear, because if I do then this coward wins."

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact police at 613-236-1222, ext. 5166. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).