A hiker is warning fellow outdoor enthusiasts to be careful when venturing out in the Hope area, after happening upon a man with erratic behaviour near the Ladner Creek Trestle.
Alicia, who did not want her last name published for her safety, said she and her family were hiking to the trestle, a portion of the historic Kettle Valley Railway 30 kilometres outside Hope on the Coquihalla Highway, on April 8. When she and her boyfriend ascended a steep portion of the hike, with her parents waiting further down the hill, they saw a man who appeared to not be wearing any clothing below the waist.
“At first I thought he was going to the bathroom or something, I wasn’t sure, but then he started moving around erratically. He was squatting and standing up,” she said. At this point, the pair decided to turn around.
As they were heading back down the hill, they realized the man - who was now wearing pants - may be following them. They began descending the hill much quicker and Alicia called her mother to tell her what was happening.
The man continued following them, she said, until the rest of her family members came into view. At this point, they all headed quickly for their vehicles. Alicia described the man as caucasian, in his late 40s or early 50s with a larger build, driving a silver Dodge truck.
“It doesn’t sound as threatening when I tell the story, but it was very threatening the way that this guy was behaving,” she said, noting it was particularly disturbing that the man did not attempt to speak or communicate with the pair even as he was following them.
Staff Sergeant with the Hope and Boston Bar RCMP Karol Rehdner confirmed police received a call about the situation. He added that police attended the scene and failed to locate the man in question, his location is still unknown.
“It was noted that the male did appear to follow them, however, he did not attempt to engage them in conversation or make a concerted effort to catch up to them,” Rehdner stated. “The complainant advised that there was no attempt to verbally engage with the unknown male.”
Police have not received any similar calls for service in that area, he noted, adding that the actions Alicia took were “extremely appropriate considering the circumstances.”