August 8, 2006
Police say sex assault suspect called tip line
The Mississauga News
Peel Regional police believe a man who phoned Crime Stoppers last week with an anonymous tip about a sexual predator in the peel is the same person they have charged in connection with the attacks.
Investigators with the force’s Special Victims Unit made an arrest in the high-profile case on Saturday, charging a 29-year-old Mississauga man with a number of sex related offences and forcible confinement.
Sources close to the investigation say the man was arrested just one day after an apparent suicide attempt at his Rathburn Rd. apartment. Peel Paramedics responded and rushed the man to Trillium Health Center, sources say. The man has since been released and was scheduled to appear in Brampton court yesterday.
The arrest follows a two-week investigation into two incidents that occurred with an hour of each other on July 22. One occurred at a Mississauga Valley Blvd. apartment building, while the other occurred near Shoppe’s World mall in Brampton.
Well-placed sources say a call to Crime Stoppers, an anonymous tip line that offers cash rewards for information that leads to arrest in outstanding cases, led police to a potential suspect.
But, investigators would eventually rule him out as a suspect, and later focused on the man they believed phone Crime Stoppers with the initial tip. Police eventually charged him in connection with the sex assault.
In the Mississauga Valley attack, the victim, a 34-year-old woman, was hospitalized for a short period with severe bruising around her face, head and throat, police said.
Investigators say the woman parked her car in the underground garage after a night out with her friends. She had just entered the building at 4 a.m. when she was “ambushed” by the suspect.
Just one hour earlier, the same attacker struck at the Shopper’s World mall in Brampton, grabbing a young woman who was riding her bicycle and punching her repeatedly before sexually assaulting her.
The man released the victim following the assault and fled the area in a vehicle. The woman sustained minor injuries.
The attacks prompted police to issue a rare Community Safety Alert Friday, warning residents of the predator and releasing the description of the suspect.
The alert was cancelled following Saturday’s arrest.
Michael Robertson, 29, is charged with forcible confinement, sexual assault, sexual assault causing bodily harm and choking.
Gary Batasar, the lawyer for the accused, said he will be vigorously defending the allegations in court.
“My client’s family are very concerned about the nature of these allegations, and they’ve been in court showing their support,‚,” he said.