Surrey and White Rock RCMP issued a joint warning today after a pair of sex assaults in the last 11 days.
On Monday night at approximately 9:40 p.m., a 38-year-old South Surrey woman was sexually assaulted while walking on a trail near tennis courts in Alderwood Park (located at 1760 Lilac Dr.).
According to police, the woman was approached from behind by a man, who uttered threats and then threw the victim to the ground and attempted to remove her clothes. The woman managed to ward off her attacker – at one point headbutting the suspect in the nose – and was eventually able to run to safety and call police.
The suspect fled the scene.
He is described as a six-foot-tall, dark-haired white man, between 35 and 42 years old. He was wearing dark, baggy pants with a large square belt-buckle, a dark hoodie with a string and a dark ball cap.
“The male may have sustained an injury during the attack, which may include a black eye(s), a broken/bloody nose, or scratches,” said Surrey RCMP Sgt. Dale Carr.
Investigators noticed a number of similarities between the incident and one in White Rock on Aug. 8, Carr said.
In that incident, a 40-year-old woman was “accosted by an unknown male,” according to a release that was posted to the detachment’s website Aug. 9 but not distributed directly to media.
According to the release, the assault occurred at 3 a.m., in the 1500-block of Merklin Street, while the victim was walking her dog . Police are treating the incident as an attempted sexual assault. Witnesses observed a man running from the area with a small dog running behind him.
That suspect is described as a white man between 20 and 30 years old, about five-foot-10 inches tall, with short hair. He was wearing a black jacket and dark pants.
In each case, the suspect was not known to the victim, police added.
“We are not able to conclusively link the two investigations at this early stage (however), some of the similarities in the two investigations caused our investigators to take notice,” Carr said.
“White Rock RCMP are working to determine if this was a crime of opportunity or a targeted attack and are asking the public to be vigilant and report all suspicious activity to us,” said Const. Shaileshni Molison.
Anyone with information on the Surrey assault is asked to call Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502. Anyone with information on the White Rock incident can call 778-593-3600.
To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.