Hannah Burns raising awareness of her ordeal to help keep others safe

WAVERLEY: A young woman from Lakeside is speaking out after a scary encounter on a late Thursday night in the Powder Mill Park area of Waverley.

Hannah Burns was parked enjoying the nice Spring night as she awaited her boyfriend, who is from Waverley, to get off his job on June 11. She was in her vehicle by the lake listening to the peepers. What was meant to be a quiet time quickly could have gone bad.

She saw a blacked-out Camaro/sports car pull into the lot. They drove past her, turned around, then drove by her again this time with their lights shining on her face.

“They parked for a few minutes and I made sure my doors were locked,” said Burns. “After another minute or two I could see someone slowly getting out of the passengers side door.

“I’m very innocent minded and try to see the good in others, but the second I saw legs come out of the car my heart dropped and I knew I had to go.”

That’s when she put her car in first gear and left quickly.

“My car was on, but it was in neutral with the emergency brake up, so the second I released the brake my lights would go on,” she said. “I think that helped me in this situation, because I was watching the person exit the passengers side door and the second my lights came on, they slammed the door shut.”

Burns decided to speak out in hopes of bringing awareness so other women like her aware and know what to do if a similar incident happens to them. With summer coming and young girls hanging out, she wants them to be prepared and ensure their safety.

She described the next bit as events unfolded.

“As I was pulling onto Rocky Lake Drive the black car sped out of the lot with their lights off and cut me off,” said Burns. “Thankfully, I knew to stay calm and went slow until they were far enough ahead to not see me pull into my boyfriend’s driveway, where I immediately left everything in my car and ran inside.

“I’m really thankful I was paying attention, but it’s terrifying how fast you find yourself in a situation like that trying to react as calmly as you can.”

Cpl. Lisa Croteau, with Halifax District RCMP, said police have concluded the investigation into the incident involving Burns as all leads have been pursued and the suspicious vehicle was not located. 

“The investigation can be re-opened if new information is received,” said Cpl. Croteau. “There is no indication at this time that this incident is related to an earlier incident reported in Waverley.”

She also had some advice from police if a vehicle approaches you or follows you in a suspicious manner- remain calm and call 911.

“If possible, drive to the nearest police station or a well lit and populated area,” said Cpl. Croteau. “Try to obtain a description of the vehicle (licence plate, make, model, color), the driver and where they were last seen.”

Burns also had some advice for young and old women alike like her who may find themselves in situations like hers, or others reported in Waverley and Windsor.

“When possible, park under or near a light so you can check your vehicle before entering,” said Burns.  If there’s anything on your windshield, leave it. They’re just stalling and waiting to pounce.”

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She acknowledges some people feel she should have called 911 right away when she suspected something wrong.

“The adrenaline of the phone call would have taken away from my ability to focus on the situation and safely get myself to my destination,” said Burns.

Burns was overwhelmed to see the amount of shares her post got, along with others posting about similar experiences. She also thinks some more street lighting at or near the park would be a good idea for HRM.

“It’s terrifying to see just how much sex trafficking happens here at home, and terrifying how I’m so used to being cat called and followed, albeit this is a different ballgame, that I didn’t realize how bad of a situation I was in until the outpouring of support,” said Burns.