South Street and Edward Street

Halifax police say an attempted robbery and sexual assault took place near South Street and Edward Street. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

Halifax police are searching for a suspect after a 23-year-old woman said she was almost robbed and sexually assaulted near the Dalhousie University campus on Thursday night.

The victim told police she was confronted by a man she thinks was 45 to 50 years old around 9:45 p.m. near Edward and South streets.

She said she was walking when she felt someone grab her hair from behind.

Police said the man wanted her wallet and even head-butted her at one point. The woman’s wallet fell to the ground, but the man ran away without taking it.

Investigators said the man also made sexual remarks. The woman told police the man put his hands over her breasts and pushed her.

Police said the woman made it to a building on campus and called a taxi to take her home.

Officers are looking for a white man, between five feet eight inches tall to five feet nine nine inches tall.

They said he weighs about 220 pounds. He was wearing a black rain coat, dark jeans and wore a black baseball cap.

Police said his speech was slightly slurred.

Dalhousie University student Rebecca Dawe lives near the intersection.

“It’s really shocking. It’s difficult to think about what I would do in this kind of  a situation, what might happen to any young woman walking around by herself at night because it’s not the first time it’s happened,” she said.

“It’s really scary.”

Dawe says she doesn't like to walk alone at night. When she does, she says she makes certain she has her phone with her. 

Const. Pierre Bourdages said the victim didn't do anything wrong. 

"People have the right to walk wherever they want to walk but we do ask people to be cognizant of their surroundings. If you notice anything suspicious, call police right away,” he said.

“People have the right to walk, people have the right to feel safe in their neighbourhood. It’s not about the victim here, it’s about that suspect, or these suspects that are attacking people.”