An Ottawa man is facing three counts of sexual assault after women were attacked at an east-end swimming hole Wednesday.

Rena Argiropulos said she’s a regular at “The Pond” in Rockcliffe Park, a secluded body of water near McKay Lake.

Wednesday, she said she was sitting on a blanket while her kids swam when she heard a woman shriek in surprise.

“I look over and she’s like ‘Get away from me, who are you?’” she said. “This guy is saying things to her like ‘Oh come on,” . . . she’s just clearly confused and she was shaking.”

Argiropulos said she picked up her cell phone to call police after the man walked away, and while she was talking to them another woman was sexually touched on a nearby pathway.

“Within ten minutes of each other these two women had been attacked,” she said. “That’s crazy.”

Ottawa police said there was a third recent assault around The Pond, with enough information coming from witnesses that an arrest was made nearby.

“It was all in the same area in a short time span,” said Const. Marc Soucy of the Ottawa police. “There was an RCMP officer who was able to find him and arrest him.”

Daniel Emond, age 35 of Ottawa, has been charged with three counts of sexual assault in connection with the incidents.

Anne Sterling said she remembers seeing a man whose description matched the suspect’s at The Pond the day before.

“If he hadn’t been caught, he’d have moved onto another park in Ottawa,” she said.

“I’m horrified,” said Louise MacKay. “This has always been a safe place full of kids and families.”

Argiropulos said she’s not sure she’ll be back to The Pond anytime soon, but she is feeling empowered with how women nearby banded together to support the victims and help catch the suspect.

With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Joanne Schnurr