Parking lots are potential sites for various crimes, including car break-ins, muggings, sexual and physical assaults. Here are some examples in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
On November 14, 2014, a woman was attacked at approximately 11:15 p.m. inside a parking lot on Shipp Drive.
On December 17, 2016, a man was with his girlfriend at Square One Shopping Centre, just before 7 p.m. He drove to an underground parking spot where a woman was standing holding the spot without a vehicle. When he asked her to move the woman began yelling racial slurs at him. A second woman approached the scene, noted he was recording the incident, walked over and allegedly punched him. She was later charged with assault.
On May 17, 2019, a woman was driving through the parking lot when a man began riding toward her on a bicycle. She honked her horn. He then stopped in front of her vehicle, allegedly spit in her face and broke the passenger car mirror.
Years ago a private client told me of an alarming experience she had in an outdoor Toronto parking lot. A man approached her in a panicked state telling her he was late for an apt and had locked his keys in his car. His arms, he said, were too big to fit through the partially open driver side window but she could reach in and unlock the door. She agreed to help and as they approached his car she notices the window was halfway open, allowing him easy access. She fled and got away.
As these examples show parking lots assaults can vary. Let’s outline six general factors that might be involved.
This offers a very general outline of some factors involved in parking lot assaults. Our next blog on the topic will look at some practical prevention and protection tips to be safer in these settings.