Good Samaritan hailed as hero after Strathcona sex attack
A photo posted on Reddit shows a man being taken into custody by Vancouver police following a chilling sexual assault in the area Thursday, March 26, 2015.
A Good Samaritan is being hailed as a hero for taking down the suspect in a frightening sex attack in Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood.
Police say a woman was attacked, tied up and sexually assaulted after an armed man entered a home Thursday afternoon.
A passerby heard screams coming from the house and confronted the man inside the home, allowing the woman to escape, police said.
Their struggle spilled out onto the street and the witnesses held the man until police officers near the home took him into custody.
CTV News has learned the man arrested is 25-year-old Caleb Heaton. Montague said police will recommend several charges.
Heaton has a criminal record in Ontario. In 2012, he was sentenced to nine months for theft with a weapon, and banned from possessing weapons for 10 years. A judge ordered Heaton to undergo a psychiatric and anger management assessment.
A horrific scene
The woman was rushed to hospital with “significant” undisclosed injuries that are non-life threatening, police said.
“She looked like something out of a horror movie. She was covered in blood,” witness Amber Ritchie told CTV News.
The Good Samaritan who confronted the suspect reportedly sustained injuries that aren’t considered serious.
“While we don’t normally advocate people getting directly involved, obviously we’re very grateful to this man who stepped in,” Const. Brian Montague said.
People in the neighbourhood are praising the man who took down the suspect.
“The guy who went in and rescued that girl is a hero and I haven't had the chance to give him a hug and thank him because if he hadn't, I don’t know," said Ritchie.
The suspect was not known to the woman, and it appears the suspect chose the home at random, said Montague.
“It is a stranger attack, there is nothing to suggest that this is targeted at all,” he said. “Early indications are that he just walked into the home.”
It’s unclear whether the woman’s door was left open or unlocked, he added.
Community organizers have created a crowdfunding campaign to provide financial support for the unnamed victim.
Shelley Sullivan said all funds raised will go directly to fund the woman’s recovery.
“This woman is a survivor, and will need as much support from the community as we can give her,” Sullivan wrote.
“This could be your sister, your daughter, your partner, your friend. Let her know that neighbours care, our community cares, and our city cares.”