British Columbia

East Vancouver attack prompts public warning

Vancouver police have issued a public warning after a woman was attacked near the Joyce Street SkyTrain station Wednesday night.

Vancouver police have issued a public warning after a woman was attacked near the Joyce Street SkyTrain station Wednesday night.

Police say a 24-year-old woman was walking through the 5200 block of Aberdeen Street just after midnight when she realized she was being followed by a man who suddenly began gaining on her.

Seconds later the man grabbed her from behind, threatened her with a knife and tried to force her to walk down the sidewalk with him.

The woman struggled and screamed, which spooked the attacker and he ran off. Her screams had alerted a nearby resident who came out to help and police were called a short time later.

Despite an extensive search of the surrounding neighbourhood, the attacker was not found.

The suspect is described as a white man, about five feet seven inches tall with a slender build. He was wearing dark clothing, possibly a hooded sweatshirt, and was last seen running westbound on Wellington Avenue from Aberdeen Street. 

Police say it's not clear if the motive behind the attack was robbery or sexual assault.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Vancouver Police Sex Crimes Unit at 604-717-2634 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.