Cops hunt man in Beltline assault of 23-year-old

"Stay with friends and avoid dimly lit areas. People just need to avoid strange situations."



City cops are hunting a man wanted for an extremely violent sexual assault, and issuing a dire warning to local women to be extra careful on Calgary streets at night.


Police are searching for a sexual predator who struck up a friendly conversation with a 23-year-old woman as she left a gathering of friends early Sunday morning before following her and attacking her in a parking lot.

Acting Staff Sgt. Curtis Olson of the sex crimes unit said yesterday police are worried about the level of violence involved in the assault and the way the attack took place.

“She was approached by this man initially and they had struck up a friendly conversation and then he left. Later, she found herself (lost) in a parking lot and this man returned and his demeanour changed and he was violent,” Olson told reporters.

“Her injuries were multiple and extensive. Fortunately, she will be OK but this was a very violent attack and we as police are very disturbed by it and will make it our highest priority.”

While Olson said police can’t yet pinpoint the exact location of the attack, they say the woman was walking home alone around 2:30 a.m. and was attacked somewhere along 10th Ave. S.W. between 4 St. and 11 St.

The woman, who remains in hospital listed in serious but stable condition, managed to make it home after the attack and her roommate drove her to Rockyview hospital.

Police are urging other woman who may have had a similar experience with a man striking up conversation in the Beltline area to call them immediately.

“We want people to be cognizant and aware of their surroundings,” Olson said yesterday, adding women should try to avoid walking alone at night. “Stay with friends and avoid dimly lit areas. People just need to avoid strange situations,” Olson said.

The suspect is described as about 5-ft.-6 to 5-ft.-8, 25 years old, possibly of Middle Eastern descent, with a medium skin tone and thin build.

Police say he weighs about 170 lbs. and has short, dark brown wavy hair and a goatee. He was wearing a three-quarter length brown coat and blue jeans.