Mounties say they're investigating after a woman was allegedly assaulted on a Burnaby Mountain trail near Simon Fraser University.

In a statement, the RCMP said the 19-year-old victim went for a walk just north of University Drive and West Campus Road at SFU at around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday.

She told police she noticed a man following her who was trying to engage her in a conversation. The man the allegedly grabbed her by the hand, but the woman was able to pull away and run to a nearby parking lot where she asked other people for help.

"The man then walked to the parking lot and continued to attempt to engage with the victim before leaving in a car which is described as being a grey or black four door Acura," police said.

In a statement, the university worded the incident more strongly, saying the suspect had "attempted to pull her into the bushes."

The suspect is described as 5'9" South Asian man between the ages of 19 and 23. Police said he has brown eyes and is clean shaven, adding that he was wearing a black turban, a blue, long-sleeved shirt, grey sweatpants and black sandals at the time of the alleged incident.

"This was a frightening situation for this victim who thankfully was able to get to safety," Cpl. Mike Kalanj said in a statement. "We are asking that people remain vigilant on the trails, following our advice and if you know who this suspect is then please contact police immediately."

The Burnaby's RCMP advice includes:

  • If you see anything suspicious then please contact police immediately.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and your own personal safety.
  • Try not to walk alone. Instead, walk in pairs or groups particularly in the evening.
  • Do not wear headphones or become distracted by your phone when you’re walking. It's important to be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Anyone with information that could advance the case is asked to contact Mounties at 604-646-9999 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.

In the meantime, SFU said it's providing assistance to the victim and is co-operating with the RCMP's investigation.The university has also increased security in response to the alleged incident.

With files from CTV News Vancouver's Angela Jung