A woman was walking the Puhinui Forrest Trail, which runs from Tōtara Park in South Auckland, when she was sexually assaulted. Photo / Google
Warning: This article discusses sexual assault and may be distressing for some readers.
Police have released more details after a woman walking the Puhinui Forrest Trail, which runs from Tōtara Park in South Auckland, was sexually assaulted.
At 10.25am yesterday, the woman had stopped at a lookout point on the trail, which is where the attack took place, police said.
The woman received a laceration to her neck during the attack, which involved a knife.
Her offender fled on foot before armed police swarmed the area along the northern boundary of Auckland’s Botanic Gardens. The offender remains at large, police said.
Detective Inspector Karen Bright issued an urgent plea to the public to help identify the offender, and have released more details of his appearance.
He is described as being in his 20s or early 30s, of chubby build, with facial tattoos. At the time of the incident, he was wearing a blue T-shirt and black shorts.
Bright also said police are taking this incident incredibly seriously and their investigation team is working hard to apprehend the offender.
“Everyone has the right to travel around the city, without fear of being the victim of a crime,” Bright said.
“The Botanic Gardens and Tōtara Park are always busy with walkers and it is concerning that this offending occurred in broad daylight.”
Police would like to hear from anyone who may have been in that area between 8am and 11.30am on January 17, as they may have seen something of relevance to the investigation.
They are also interested in hearing from anyone who may have been taking photographs or has video footage in the area of the Botanical Gardens or Tōtara Park between the relevant times.
They ask people to reference file number 230117/3643 when contacting police via their 105 phone service or through their website.
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