A manhunt is underway for a calculating predator who attacked then taunted a woman at a popular walking track on the Sunshine Coast.
His victim, 49, was forced to flee into bushland off a popular walking track in Pelican Waters where she hid and used her phone to call for help.
The woman was walking on the track off Twindell Drive at about 4.30pm on Sunday when she heard someone walking behind her.
Her arm was then grabbed from behind.
She turned around to notice a man she’d seen moments earlier sitting on a bike near a bridge.
“She’s immediately turned around, realised it was the same male, has punched him in the face to try and get away, he’s released his grip and he’s punched her in the eye,” Detective Senior Constable Jonathan McBride told reporters.
Injured but free from his grip, the woman saw an opportunity to escape, running for her life into thick scrub.
She hid and called her husband for help.
Yet her ordeal wasn’t over yet, as the attacker made attempts to lure her out from her hiding spot.
“He was basically saying things like ‘I can see you’, obviously in the hope to try and make her move so that he could see her,” Detective Senior Constable McBride said.
The incident has shocked not only police but the local community as well.
“She obviously will have to live with this for the rest of her life, and it is a terrifying incident for her,” Detective Senior Constable McBride said.
One local said the incident was shocking.
“I didn’t expect anything like that to happen here,” the local revealed.
The victim described the attacker as aged in his late 20s to early 30s, around 175 centimetres tall with a medium build and darkish complexion, possibly European or Middle Eastern.
He had dark curly hair on top, cut short on both sides and at the back.
Police say they don’t know the motivation or the intentions of the offender and are appealing for help identifying the individual.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.