A man, confirmed to be a transient, was arrested after sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl in a park in Fort Collins on Sunday.

Daniel Engilman, 58, was arrested for sex assault on a child and false imprisonment after making inappropriate contact with the girl at Eastside Park on Locust Street. The girl was walking her dog when Engilman approached her, briefly refusing to let her to leave. She was able to get away and notified her family, who then called police.

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Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith made a statement about the incident on his Facebook page confirming Engilman is a transient in the community.

"For those who loudly protest every time a transient person is arrested - here is an example of what kind of crime members of this crowd reap on the community," he said. "The man arrested for accosting and sexually assaulting one of our 11-year-old children in a Fort Collins park is a local transient. I've got a long, long list of transient persons sitting in the county jail for crimes ranging from attempted murder, to a variety of assaults, including assaults on police officer to this man - accused of assaulting an 11-year-old child in a city park. It's time that the voices of law abiding citizens be heard."

Fort Collins Police Services provide the following safety tips for those traveling alone or in isolated areas like trails and parks:

  • Let others know where you'll be and give them an anticipated return time.
  • Take note of your surroundings and possible hazards such as people or landscaping that could serve as a hiding spot.
  • Avoid distractions like looking at your phone, listening to music through headphones, etc.
  • Report all suspicious activity to police.
  • Trust your instincts - if something seems "off," change your course.

Charges against Engilman are simply an accusation and will be presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.