It was a cowardly, brazen attack: Police

APPEAL: Detective Senior Constable Andrew Bowen and Inspector Paul Margetts have appealed for information to help identify a man involved in an attempted sexual assault in Echuca. Picture: RIVERINE HERALD

APPEAL: Detective Senior Constable Andrew Bowen and Inspector Paul Margetts have appealed for information to help identify a man involved in an attempted sexual assault in Echuca. Picture: RIVERINE HERALD

POLICE are searching for a man who allegedly tried to sexually assault a woman in an Echuca car park on Monday.

Police said the woman, 49, kicked clear of the man after he allegedly grabbed her from behind, dragged her into a nearby culvert and tried to undress her.

Detective Acting Sergeant Andrew Bowen of Victoria Police’s Sexual Crimes Unit said police wanted to speak with the owner of a dark XB Ford Falcon, seen in the car park about the time of the attack.

Detective Acting Sergeant Bowen described the attack as brazen, given it was in Echuca’s central business district.

He said the woman was on her way home after leaving work and visiting the supermarket when the attack happened.

After kicking the man, the woman called for help from a friend, who alerted authorities to the attack.

Detective Acting Sergeant Bowen said it took emergency services some time to find the woman.

While police are on the hunt for a man, the victim was unable to recognise him because she had lost her glasses and the car park was dark.

‘‘It is a very brazen attack in a busy area, but at this stage it is an isolated incident,’’ he said.

‘‘It was a pretty cowardly attack.’’

Despite the traumatic ordeal, the woman suffered only minor injuries to her neck and face as a result of the attack.

Detective Acting Sergeant Bowen said the incident  was unusual for the region.

He said it served as a reminder for people to be aware of their own safety.

‘‘It is good to be aware, but not alarmed,’’ he said.

‘‘It is best to travel in pairs when going to your car at night.’’

Inspector Paul Margetts of Echuca police said police would set up an information caravan at the scene of the attack on Tuesday, between 3.30pm and 8pm, in the hope someone could come forward with information.

‘‘We are keen to maintain contact with people who work in the CBD and park their vehicles here,’’ Inspector Margetts said.

‘‘Hopefully someone with information might remember something.’’

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppers.com.au

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