Update (February 16):
The Vancouver Police Department released two brief videos of the male suspect that investigators are seeking to identify. For more information, see this article.
Original article (February 15):
After a male stranger attacked a woman walking through Vancouver’s West End on Saturday night, investigators are urging anyone with information about the incident to come forward.
Vancouver Police Department (VPD) spokesperson Sgt. Steve Addison deemed the attack “extremely concerning” as it “happened in a busy neighbourhood and targeted a woman who was minding her own business”.
The VPD stated in a news release today (February 15) that a 24-year-old woman reported that, after shopping on Davie Street, she was walking home around 9:40 p.m. on February 13.
As she was walking through Maxine Lane, which is the south lane of Burnaby Street, between Bute and Thurlow streets, a man grabbed her from behind. Both fell to the ground and the victim started to scream.
The attacker, “likely scared off” by her screams, ran back toward Bute Street.
The victim remained physically uninjured.
“Every indication is that this attack was unprovoked, and we believe the victim did not know the suspect,” Sgt. Addison said. “We also think there were people in the area who may have information that can help solve this crime.”
The suspect is believed to be a white male who is about 180 centimetres (five feet, eleven inches) tall, and may be in his mid 40s.
At the time of the incident, he was wearing a waist-length black leather jacket, dark pants, and a dark COVID mask.
In addition, Sgt. Addison stated that they are providing a description of the victim “in case it helps anyone remember anything that could help in the investigation”.
The VPD stated that the victim is a white female who is 173 centimetres (five feet, eight inches) with a slim build and long brown hair. At the time, she was wearing a black winter jacket with a fur-lined hood, black yoga pants, and UGG boots.
Anyone with information is asked to immediately call the VPD Special Investigations Section at 604-717-0602 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8466.