Police are warning against accepting rides from strangers after a Niagara-on-the-Lake man was arrested on assault and harassment charges.
The 71-year-old man was arrested Jan. 15 following an investigation into three separate incidents in St. Catharines and Niagara Falls between 2011 and 2012. The incidents are said to have occurred on Welland Avenue and Geneva Street in St. Catharines and Bridge Street in Niagara Falls.
It’s alleged the suspect approached each victim and, in a persistent manner, offered them a ride in his van. It’s also alleged that a female victim who accepted a ride was sexually assaulted while in his van.
Police are strongly suggesting that if any member of the public is approached by a stranger in inappropriate circumstances offering a ride, they should refuse the ride and immediately call the police.
Anyone with information regarding the current investigations or have new information is encouraged to contact the police.
Ernest Schultz has been charged with one count of sexual assault, one count common assault and two counts of criminal harassment.
The police can be reached at 905-688-4111.
Information can also be submitted anonymously using Crime Stoppers of Niagara. To leave a tip, contact Crime Stoppers via telephone at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS); online at www.niagaratips.com or by text message. Tipsters can text 274637 (CRIMES) with the keyword ‘Niagara’ followed by the tip. Crime Stoppers guarantees anonymity and tips which lead to an arrest may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.