Jog­ger am­bushed by sex at­tacker in city

Weekend Herald - - News - Chelsea Boyle

A woman was am­bushed, stran­gled and in­de­cently as­saulted by a stranger while jog­ging in a cen­tral Auck­land sub­urb early yes­ter­day.

Po­lice have since re­leased CCTV images of a man they want to speak to about the St Marys Bay at­tack. He was caught by cam­eras on a bridge cross­ing the North­ern Mo­tor­way not far from the at­tack.

De­tec­tive Inspector Scott Beard said the stranger had grabbed the woman and dragged her into some bushes near the end of St Marys Rd while she was out run­ning along a track be­side the North­ern Mo­tor­way about 5am.

The man then stran­gled and in­de­cently as­saulted her.

“A pass­ing cy­clist heard her screaming and came to her aid,” Beard said. “The of­fender has then run off in the di­rec­tion of Swift Ave and Ring Tce and was last seen jump­ing over a fence.

“Both the vic­tim and the wit­ness went straight to Auck­land Cen­tral Po­lice Sta­tion to re­port the in­ci­dent.”

Beard said the woman suf­fered mi­nor in­juries and was shaken up by the in­ci­dent.

Po­lice and Auck­land Sex­ual As­sault HELP were sup­port­ing the woman and her fam­ily.

There was a height­ened po­lice pres­ence in St Marys Bay hours af­ter the at­tack.

One resident told the Week­end Her­ald he did not hear any­thing but a lot of the houses that over­looked the North­ern Mo­tor­way were sound­proof. Another said po­lice had been door­knock­ing in the area, ap­peal­ing to any­one who might have seen any­thing sus­pi­cious.

The po­lice pres­ence had been re­as­sur­ing be­cause it was “not some­thing that hap­pens around here”, she said, and that it was shock­ing.

Po­lice had also been in­ter­view­ing em­ploy­ees at cen­tral Auck­land busi­nesses close to St Marys Bay to speak to any­one who might have been in the area.

Beard said the of­fender was dark­skinned, pos­si­bly In­dian, with short black hair, 175-180cm tall and of slim build. “He is be­lieved to have been wear­ing a dark blue jer­sey with white writ­ing and aged in mid 20s or younger,” he said.

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