2 women kidnapped, assaulted in Banff
Suspect with extensive criminal record remains in police custody
Two female cyclists in Banff endured a terrifying attack after accepting a ride from a stranger early Sunday morning, said Alberta RCMP.
The two women, aged 28 and 34, were riding their bicycles in the town of Banff around 3 a.m. when a passerby offered them a ride home in a truck, RCMP Cpl. Mike Stourac said Monday.
After a short distance, the driver became aggressive and detoured to the Tunnel Mountain trailhead parking area. He then punched one woman in the face and struck the other repeatedly, police said.
Both women were able to flee the vehicle. The truck driver then tried to run over one of them, but hit a large log instead.
The man got out of the vehicle and caught both females, dragging them by the hair back to the truck. One woman escaped and called for help.
Banff RCMP immediately set up road blocks in the area, and police and local security officials were sent a description of the suspect and vehicle, which had been stolen from Calgary.
One woman sexually assaulted, say police
A security guard in Canmore, about 25 kilometres southeast of Banff, spotted the truck a short time later, said Stourac.
Canmore RCMP found a man and woman walking out of some woods at about 3:40 a.m. The man was arrested without incident.
Police said the woman was sexually assaulted during the drive to Canmore, and again in the woods.
Both women were taken to the Banff hospital and their injuries were treated.
The accused, who has an extensive criminal record, was identified through fingerprints, said the RCMP.
"He's got a previous record for sexual assault and some other violence offences as well," said acting RCMP Cpl. Casey Murphy. "I believe he was out on his own. He wasn't held under previous warrants or anything like that."
Cory Lawrence Bitternose, 38, of no fixed address, has been charged with 11 offences, including kidnapping, sexual assault, choking to overcome resistance, assault with a weapon, and uttering threats.
He appeared briefly in Banff provincial court Monday and remains in police custody until his next court date on July 21.