Stranger attack in West End

VANCOUVER Police are searching for a man who grabbed and tackled a woman who was walking alone in the West End on Saturday night, and are asing anyone with information to come forward.

“This unprovoked attack is extremely concerning,” said Sgt. Steve Addison on Monday. “It happened in a busy neighbourhood and targeted a woman who was minding her own business. We’re asking anyone with information to contact police immediately.”

The 24-year-old victim had been shopping on Davie Street and was walking home around 9:40 p.m. when the attack occurred in Maxine Lane – the south lane of Burnaby Street. She was walking in the lane, between Bute and Thurlow streets, when a man grabbed her from behind. Both fell to the ground and the victim started to scream.

The victim’s screams likely scared off the attacker, who ran back toward Bute Street. The victim was not physically injured.

“Every indication is that this attack was unprovoked, and we believe the victim did not know the suspect,” said Addison. “We also think there were people in the area who may have information that can help solve this crime, and we’re appealing to those people to come forward.”

The suspect is believed to be white, about five feet eleven inches tall, and in his mid 40s. He was wearing a waist-length black leather jacket, dark pants, and a dark COVID-19 mask.

“We are providing a description of the victim as well, in case it helps anyone remember anything that could help in the investigation,” said Addison.

The victim is white, five feet eight inches, and slim, with long brown hair. She was wearing UGG boots, black yoga pants, and a black winter jacket with a fur-lined hood.

Police ask anyone with information to immediately call VPD’s Special Investigations Section at 604-717-0602, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8466.