Jogger ambushed by sex attacker in city
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.