On November 1, Toronto police arrested Dipesh Patel for a series of sexual assaults dating back to 2015. The testimonies of the brave women he assaulted lead to his arrest.
To assault someone a predator must have intent, ability, and opportunity. Patel’s intentions were malicious and he was determined to follow through. He possessed the ability, particularly physical strength, access to weapons, and deception/cunning. Lastly, he sought and found opportunities- isolated women. As Frederick Desroches writes, “The offender can either use speed and stealth to rush an unwitting victim or manage a normal appearance to get close enough to surprise and overcome the target. (125)
To better protect ourselves it is necessary to understand how Patel abducted these women. We are not privy to all the facts but based on what we know here is an overview.
Isolation. As Rory Miller writes, “Attacks happen where the predator believes he is unlikely to be disturbed and witnesses are rare. (75). In all cases, Patel picked women who were alone. They were walking on a quiet street, in a parking lot, and on one occasion the victim believed him to be a driver for a rideshare program.
The Element of Surprise. He also used the element of surprise. During the first known assault in 2015, Patel approached a woman from behind and dragged her into a laneway.
Deception. Posing as a driver for a rideshare program allowed Patel to isolate his victim.
Leaving the First Scene. The first scene, Miller writes, “is where the initial assault and abduction took place. The secondary crime scene is where the human predator takes his victims to that he can spend more time and have greater privacy. (75) Patel wanted to bring the victims to a more private area where there is less chance of being caught. He forced the women from the first scene into a more private area, a laneway. In other instances, he used force or deception to get women into his car.
Unfortunately, predators like Patel do exist so it is important to understand their tactics to better protect ourselves.
Frederick J. Desroches, Force and Fear: Robbery in Canada. Toronto: Nelson Canada, 1995.
Rory Miller, Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training and Real World Violence. Boston, YMAA Publications, 2008.