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Canton Police Make Stalking Arrest

May 19, 2017 Police No Comments

By John Fitts

Police arrested a 29-year-old man for stalking the afternoon of May 17, after officers learned a woman kayaking on the Farmington River in Collinsville had been the subject of lewd comments and concerning behavior.

In a social media post that has gained much traction in town, a friend of the victim relays the story of a young man, who had been fishing by the river bank and allegedly approached the woman as she pulled over to the river bank, said graphic things to her and continued to stalk her.

The woman made her way back to the ramp by Collinsville Canoe and Kayak where staff and a local family helped, the post states. One person managed to get the license plate and officers quickly apprehended the suspect.

While stating the suspect will get his day in court, police chief Christopher Arciero confirmed that the incident referenced in the post was real.

“Many of you may have read a recent facebook posting from a young woman who was confronted on the Farmington River by a male on Wednesday afternoon,” Arceiro wrote in a statement. “At the outset, I want to commend this woman for her exceptional awareness for her personal safety. She had the presence of mind to be aware of her surroundings, trust her instincts, create distance between herself and the threat, memorize physical characteristics of the other individual and his vehicle and reach out to others in the river area for assistance and/or a safehaven. Her timely communication to the Canton Police Department allowed officers to quickly respond and arrest the individual as he was leaving the scene.

“In addition to the arrest, the Canton Police alerted the State Police to this individual; as he lives in a town under State Police jurisdiction. Finally, we have reached out to the states attorney’s office to ensure they are aware of the adverse personal impact this incident has had on the victim.”

After the incident, police charge Alexander O’Brien, 29, of 188 North Elm St., Canaan, with second-degree breach of peace and third-degree stalking. O’Brien could not immediately be reached for comment but under the U.S. judicial system a person is presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law.

Arciero offers these suggestions when out in public.

  1. When out alone, tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. Otherwise-recreate, hike, bike, walk, etc with a ‘buddy.’
  2. Carry a cell phone.
  3. Be aware of your surroundings.
  4. Don’t dismiss suspicious people, cars, or situations.
  5. Stay away from isolated areas.
  6. Keep strangers away from your personal space.
  7. When in doubt, call the police.







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