Witnesses, video sought after women report assaults in Port Alberni

Port Alberni RCMP are looking for witnesses, dashcam video and other video evidence after two women reported being victims of early-morning assaults on the weekend.

Police said there is no indication so far that the two incidents are related.

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The first happened Saturday between 4 and 5 a.m., when a woman walking along 3rd Avenue, near Dunbar Street, was grabbed by two men who demanded money from her.

One suspect bit her hand when she raised her arms in self-defence.

She managed to fight the men off and run away, then made her way to hospital before calling police some time later.

Police patrols in the area failed to find the assailants.

The suspects are described as white and about five-foot-six with scruffy beards. One had a thin build and bad acne, possibly spoke with a lisp and was wearing red pajama pants.

The second attack occurred about 5:45 a.m. Sunday, when a woman was getting items from her vehicle, which was parked on 10th Avenue across from Echo Village. A man came out of the woods and grabbed her from behind, sexually assaulting her.

She yelled and was able to fight the man off. The suspect fled into a small, wooded area with a number of paths.

The woman was shaken and upset but not physically hurt.

“These are very serious incidents and a frightening event for anyone to experience,” said Port Alberni RCMP Cpl. Amelia Hayden. “These women did the right thing by yelling out and fighting off their attackers and reporting to police as soon as they were able.

“Our investigations are ongoing and police are doing everything possible to identify and arrest the men responsible for these assaults.”

Police have been canvassing residences and businesses. They would like to talk to anyone who saw anything suspicious or has video from about 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. in the location of the first attack, or anyone who has information about the second attack.

jwbell@timecolonist.com

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