Mounties in Nanaimo are searching for a man accused of groping and fondling a 19-year-old woman early Sunday morning.

It happened while she was on her way to work, near the Days Inn on Nicol Street around 5 a.m. Sunday.

The woman said she had earbuds in and was listening to music when she heard a noise from nearby bushes.

Before she could turn around the man appeared, grabbed her and fondled her.

She fought off her attacker and ran away in the opposite direction, according to police.

The woman was left badly shaken but did not suffer any injuries.

The man is described as white, between 30 and 40 years old with a medium build and standing 5’8” or 5’9”.

He has short dark hair with grey on the sides, cut army-style, and his hands had rough callouses and chewed-off nails.

He was wearing a black or dark long-sleeve jersey with a stripe at the cuff, white running shoes and long pants.

Anyone with information is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.