Detectives say members of the public intervened and attempted to detain the perpetrator of a violent sexual assault in WA’s north this morning.
- Broome police are investigating after a jogger was sexually assaulted on her morning run on Friday
- The man attacked the woman and she screamed for help, attracting the attention of members of the public
- Police are calling for help to identify the man
The woman was jogging in Broome just after 5am on Friday when she was attacked by an as-yet unidentified man.
Police cordoned off the scene, a popular cycling and pedestrian track in Broome’s northern suburbs, shortly after the incident.
They spent the day canvassing houses and searching for the man.
Broome police officer Detective Senior Sergeant Brian Beck said the woman fought off the attacker, attracting the attention of nearby residents and members of the public.
“A few members of the public managed to locate the suspect, they’ve confronted him and they’ve tried to detain him, but he has managed to evade them,” he said.
“There wasn’t a physical confrontation, it was more verbal… we believe the suspect has threatened the bystanders or the people who were assisting.
“We’re working through our actions in order to try and identify whether this was a targeted approach, or something else.”
The path is protected by dense bushland and isn’t visible from the main road, which runs parallel to it.
The man was walking in the opposite direction to the woman when police say he attacked and sexually assaulted her.
The woman suffered non-life-threatening injuries, and St John Ambulance was called to take her to Broome Hospital.
“She has good family support; we’re supporting her very closely and our efforts are quite intense in terms of locating this suspect,” Senior Detective Sergeant Beck said.
The man is described as between 40 and 50 years old, 170-175cm in height with a medium to stocky build.
He has short sandy-colored hair and facial hair.
The forensic team is also at the scene, and detectives from the Sex Assault Squad have been flown to Broome to help.
Senior Detective Sergeant Beck said police would deploy extra resources from Perth to assist with the investigation and search for the offender.
“Members of the public are obviously asked to be vigilant and mindful of their surroundings,” he said.
“Obviously there’s a person out there that we’re still trying to locate.”
The path where the woman was allegedly attacked is a popular bike and pedestrian walkway that cuts through the north of town and stretches south towards Broome port.
Anyone with information or who has CCTV, dash cam or mobile phone vision of the area between 4.30am and 6am on Friday has been asked to call Crime Stoppers or report the information online.
Police say there is no indication of a link between this morning’s incident and a sexual assault at a party on Cable Beach in May, which detectives are still investigating.