Door knock leads to disturbing sex assault near UVic
Saanich Police are investigating a chilling sex assault at a home near the University of Victoria campus Wednesday night.
Police say a man knocked on a door at the ground floor apartment of two women in the 1500-block of Church Avenue, just before 8 p.m.
The man was banging on a glass door at the home, and the women only opened it when they felt it might shatter.
Police say that's when the man sexually assaulted at least one or potentially both of the women. They won't say whether the man had a weapon.
After the assault, the suspect walked the two women to a nearby bank and forced them to withdraw cash to give to him.
He then ran away from the scene westbound across Shelbourne Street, according to police.
The women went to a nearby coffee shop on Shelbourne Street where staff called police. Both were badly traumatized by the incident and suffered minor physical injuries, police said.
“The victims at this point in time are being well supported,” said Saanich Police Sgt. Dean Janzen. He said the attack doesn't appear to be random in nature and that the women may have been targeted.
“It does appear that this specific suite was the target of this incident,” said Janzen. “We haven’t had any other reports of this occurring in that area.”
The women are international students at UVic, according to their building manager, Mark Dutton.
"The perpetrator would've come around the sidewalk, past the driveway, and in via the back door," Dutton said. "I think from what we've hard, they're on the bus, they're students, two of them, they're followed home."
Surveillance footage from the building shows the suspect walking by a bike rack and putting his hood up.
Saanich Police have released video of suspect sought in last night's disturbing sex assault pic.twitter.com/1u6zT3ljzr— CTV News VI (@CTVNewsVI) January 28, 2016
The man is described as white, 30 to 40 years old, about 5'11" with a medium build, unshaven and balding, and was wearing a grey hoodie and gray or dark pants.
Police are now canvassing the neighourhood for tips and contacting schools and colleges in the area to alert them.
UVic's student society released a statement Thursday acknowledging the sex assault and informing students of various outlets that are available on campus to help handle sexual assaults.
Anyone who knows the suspect in the video or who has information is asked to call a dedicated tipline at 250-475-4356, the main police switchboard at 250-475-4321 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
It's unclear whether it's the same suspect police have been searching for in a string of break-ins in the Shelbourne Street corridor and University Heights area.
“At this point in time, there are some similarities but there are no formal linkages being made,” said Janzen.
The description is also similar to a man who reportedly grabbed at a woman near Mount Douglas High School Monday night.
In that incident, the woman screamed and the would-be attacker ran off.