Police have issued a public warning after a “disturbing” and “particularly violent” sexual assault in Vancouver’s West End early yesterday morning.
At around 12:30 a.m., a 24-year-old Vancouver woman was walking past Hastings Mill Park when a man attacked her from behind, said Const. Jana McGuinness of the Vancouver Police Department.
The woman was punched in the head and face before being dragged toward the centre of the park.
After a violent struggle, the woman was taken behind the park’s playground set and sexually assaulted.
“This is a violent, unprovoked attack on a stranger … we can’t minimize the severity of it,” McGuinness said.
The woman managed to fight off her attacker, who fled the scene.
“It appears to be a crime of opportunity at this point. There were a lot of people in the area, so we don’t know how or why this woman was targeted,” McGuinness said.
Janet Lindsay, who has lived across from the park for 20 years, said this is the first incident of its kind to occur in the area.
“Now I’d think twice about walking the dog there alone at night,” she said.
The attacker, who was dressed in a hooded sweatshirt and jeans, is described as five-foot-five to five-foot-eight with a medium skin tone and build. He also had a distinct British accent.