A Brazilian woman has been left traumatized after being pepper sprayed, punched and robbed by two women on Friday, when she asked for directions in downtown Vancouver.
Renata Rosino was leaving a girls' night out in a downtown pub near the Burrard and Georgia intersection at around midnight, when she asked the two women for directions to the nearest SkyTrain station.
The women told her to follow them but led Rosino west on Georgia Street, away from the station. As they approached Thurlow Street, they pepper sprayed her, kicked her down a set of stone steps and began punching her repeatedly.
'I really think their intention was to kill me' - Renata Rosino
"I tried to talk to them, saying they could take my things, everything I had, if they just let me go. But they continued to punch me," said Rosino.
At one point, the women began bashing her head on the concrete, and Rosina said she began fearing for her life.
"I really think they were trying to kill me. You hit your head on the concrete, it can be really serious. I really think their intention was to kill me."
The women eventually left Rosino alone, but made off with her passport, money, credit cards, driver's licence, iPad and iPhone.
Rosino was eventually able to stumble to the sidewalk and scream for help. A passerby came to her aid, calling the police, who took her to hospital.
The women are believed to be in their 20s. One is thought to have blond hair, while the other wore her hair in a ponytail.
iPad tracked to home in Ladner
Rosino's boyfriend later tracked her iPad and iPhone to a home in Ladner, where they were recovered from an unidentified man by Delta police. It is believed the man bought the devices from the women, and police say he is assisting with inquiries.
Rosino says she doesn't know why the women attacked her, but she thinks the women assumed she was easy target because she was a foreigner.
"I feel really afraid to go out alone this week. I'm a bit traumatized... and it will take some time to get back to my normal life again. I'm really scared.
"I thought Vancouver was safer than this, and now I'm confused — it can be dangerous. Every student thinks people are kind and friendly, but they have to be careful, wherever they are."
Vancouver Police Sgt. Randy Fincham said no arrests have been made and advised people not to pursue assailants themselves for stolen Apple products.
"Unfortunately, incidents do occur, on a rare occasion, involving violence, in the city. It doesn't appear, at this point, to be someone was targeted for a particular reason."
Fincham says police are scouring security video footage from stores in the area and analyzing forensic evidence from the scene.
For her part, Rosino says she will walk in a group from now on, and is looking forward to some justice.
"I want to see them in the jail, that's all I want, because they deserve it."
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information relating to the attack is urged to call Vancouver police on 604-873-7000 or to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers.