Two women fought off separate attacks from an unidentified man in central Whanganui. Police suspect the attacks were related, as both involved women being targeted from behind, while they were out running.
"It's clear we have a predator trying to target female joggers," said Detective Inspector Plod. "We'd like to praise the strength and ingenuity of the two women who successfully stopped potential sexual attacks."
Police have urged all community members to monitor suspicious behaviour of men who fit the description below who seem to be lurking in this area at the moment, and call the Police if they see anything suspicious. Both attempted sexual assaults were late afternoon to early evening. The attacker was described by one woman as dark-skinned Maori, in his late-20s or early-30s, about 178cm tall. In
the second event, he was described as male Maori, aged 17-23 years.
"As usual in cases of stranger rape - which we know are the minority of sexual assaults - this predator will be trying to commit offences with the lowest possibility of detection," said DI Plod. "We can keep one another safe by monitoring suspicious behaviour of men in this area. We urge all men to be aware that until this predator is caught, this area is likely to feel unsafe for many women."
Specialist sexual violence services in Whanganui can be accessed here for survivors of any kind of sexual violence, and their family and friends.
Poor media coverage which offers no options for stopping sexual violence except for women hiding in their homes can be found here.