Winnipeg police believe separate groping incidents connected

Winnipeg police are asking the public to help identify a man after two women were groped downtown.

Police release images and ask for help in identifying man

Police said two women have been groped in the past few days, both of them in downtown walkways. (CBC)

Winnipeg police are asking the public to help identify a man after two women were groped downtown.

Police said two women have been groped in the past few days, both of them in downtown walkways.

The first assault happened Friday at about 7:50 a.m., said Const. Jay Murray. As the woman, in her 30s, was walking through the skywalk between Bell MTS Place and Cityplace Shopping Centre, a man came up to her and grabbed her. 

She described the man as being about 20 years old, 5 feet tall and with a small build, wearing a T-shirt and cargo pants. "Unfortunately no colour descriptions are available," said Murray.

The second woman was attacked Saturday at about 9:15 a.m. while she was heading through the walkway between the YMCA and Portage Place Shopping Centre. She, too, had a man come up to her and grab her, this time from behind.

The victim, in her teens, described the man as about 20 years old, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, 150 pounds with short black hair and a slight accent. He was wearing a T-shirt with a logo, blue jeans, black runners and had a black backpack with white stitching on the pockets, said Murray. 

Police released surveillance footage of a man during the second attack in hopes of identifying him, said Murray, adding they're hoping to get footage from the first attack as well.

"We don't know for sure" that the two assaults are related, said Murray. "Obviously you can see from these two descriptions the height is significantly different.

"Just the proximity of the incidents, there is some similarities in the description … witnesses sometimes, especially when they've gone through an emotional incident, can provide varying degrees of a description."

Police put the release out before Sunday's downtown Whiteout Party deliberately, said Murray, to give Winnipeggers a heads up and ask them to "remain vigilant."

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sex Crimes Unit at 204-986-6245, said Murray.