The man who sexually asaulted a 19-year-old woman last Tuesday night (Aug. 20) in Langley City may also be responsible for a June attack, RCMP said Saturday (Aug. 24).
The woman was walking near Douglas Park in the 20600 block of 51B Avenue when she was attacked from behind, pushed to the ground, and sexually assaulted.
The man, who was wearing swimming goggles, threatened her with a knife and told her not to scream. He then took her purse and iPod before fleeing on a bicycle.
Police called in the fire department to light up the crime scene.
Based on the victim’s description, police believe the same man may be responsible for attacking a 16-year-old girl on June 22.
In that incident, the victim was waiting for a bus at the intersection of 42 Avenue and 204 Street when the suspect pulled up in a vehicle beside her and ordered her to get in.
He threatened her with a knife, drove her to a church parking lot in the 21200 block of 56 Avenue and sexually assaulted her.
He then drove her to the Langley bus loop at Logan and Glover and released her without further incident.
He was driving a small, newer model, silver hatchback.
Langley RCMP is asking the public to study the two composite sketches created and if you are able to identify the suspect or provide information that would assist with either of these investigations please call Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.solvecrime.ca.
Langley RCMP also released some self-defense tips for the public:
1. Awareness: Your first line of defense. Most people think of kicks to the groin and blocking punches when they hear the term self-defense. However, true self-defense begins long before any actual physical contact. The first, and probably most important, component in self-defense is awareness: awareness of yourself, your surroundings, and a potential attacker’s likely strategies. Often, a criminal’s strategy is to use the advantage of surprise. Studies have shown that criminals are adept at choosing targets that appear to be unaware of what is going on around them. By being aware of your surroundings and by projecting a forceful presence, many altercations which are commonplace on the street can be avoided.
2. Use your sixth sense. Sixth sense. Gut instinct. Your intuition is a powerful subconscious insight into situations and people. All of us, especially women, have this gift, but very few of us pay attention to it. Avoid a person or a situation which does not feel safe–you’re probably right.
3. Self-defense training. It is important to evaluate the goals and practical usefulness of a women’s self-defense program before signing up. The self-defense program should include simulated assaults, with a fully padded instructor in realistic attack scenarios, to allow you to practice what you’ve learned.
4. Escape: What if you are suddenly confronted by a predator who demands that you go with him – be it in a car, or into an alley, or a building. It would seem prudent to obey, but you must never leave the primary crime scene. You are far more likely to be killed or seriously injured if you go with the attacker than if you run away (even if he promises not to hurt you). Run away, yell for help, throw a rock through a store or car window – do whatever you can to attract attention. And if the criminal is after your purse or other material items, throw them one way while you run the other.
5. Your right to fight. Unfortunately, no matter how diligently we practice awareness and avoidance techniques, we may find ourselves in a physical confrontation. Whether or not you have self-defense training, and no matter what your age or physical condition, it is important to understand that you CAN and SHOULD defend yourself physically. You have both the moral and legal right to do so. Many women worry that they will anger the attacker and get hurt worse if they defend themselves, but statistics clearly show that your odds of survival are far greater if you do fight back. Aim for the eyes first and the groin second. Remember, though, to use the element of surprise to your advantage–strike quickly, and mean business. You may only get one chance.