Police investigating sexual assault in New Westminster park
NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. -- A park near a busy intersection in New Westminster was behind police tape for hours Monday night and into Tuesday while officers investigated a sexual assault.
Sgt. Sanjay Kumar said there are still some details that are not clear at this point, but police believe the assault happened at Toronto Place Park, a small green space at the corner of 8th Street and Royal Avenue.
“Our victim had met the subject in the area somewhere, we’re unclear where,” he said, and added it appears the victim did not know her attacker. “They had made their way to the park. That’s when the suspect sexually assaulted the victim.”
Afterwards, the victim approached a neighbour and told them what happened, and police were called just after 10 p.m.
“It sounds like, from the initial report, that there was a bit of struggle,” Sgt. Kumar said. “This resulted in some superficial injuries to the victim.”
The park was taped off Monday night to preserve the scene until daylight. Investigators could be seen in the park Tuesday morning, taking pictures and carrying evidence bags.
Evidence markers could also be seen around a path running through the small park.
Police say a counsellor and their special investigations unit detective are both working with the victim to glean more information about what happened, and the suspect.
“In any given situation like this, victims sometimes feel reluctant to come forward or talk about the incident, understandably,” he said. “At this time, we’re not thinking there’s an increased risk to public safety...once we have a better understanding from our victim as to what happened, we’ll be able to shed some more light on this.”
Police are looking for any surveillance or dash cam video from the area, and are also asking any witnesses to get in touch.