VICTORIA -- The Victoria Police Department is asking for witnesses to come forward after a 71-year-old was stabbed in the downtown area on Friday morning. 

According to VicPD, the attack occurred at approximately 11 a.m. in the 900-block of Yates Street.

Police say that the victim, a 71-year-old woman, was walking on the street when she was asked by a panhandler for money. The victim refused twice, at which point the panhandler, a woman, stabbed the victim in the back.

Following the attack, the 71-year-old was able to drive herself to a hospital for treatment of her injury.

“At first, the victim believed that she was punched in the back, but then realized that she was bleeding, and drove herself to the hospital,” said VicPD in a news release.

The victim was then treated for non-life threatening injuries and has since been released from hospital.

The suspect is described as a 20 to 25-year-old Indigenous woman who stands roughly 5’ 7” with a slim to medium build. She has short black hair, a round face, dark eyes and was missing her top front teeth.

Police say she was wearing dark clothing and a dark hoodie with the hood pulled up at the time. She also had clothing covering her hands and was possibly wearing a dark toque.

VicPD is now asking for witnesses to come forward, adding that officers believe that the incident was likely seen by pedestrians in the area.

Anyone who may have seen the attack is asked to call VicPD’s non-emergency line at 250-995-7654 or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.