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Police boost patrols in Stanley Park after sexual assault report

Two people walk along a trail near Lost Lagoon in Vancouver in January 2021. Police say they are increasing patrols in Stanley Park after a woman reported she was sexually assaulted by a stranger near the lagoon on Monday. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
Two people walk along a trail near Lost Lagoon in Vancouver in January 2021. Police say they are increasing patrols in Stanley Park after a woman reported she was sexually assaulted by a stranger near the lagoon on Monday. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

Vancouver police say more officers will be patrolling Stanley Park and its trails after a woman reported she was sexually assaulted by a stranger in the park on Monday morning.

The woman, who police say is in her 50s, reported around 10:45 a.m. PT that she was attacked just north of Lost Lagoon on Lees Trail, according to a news release from the Vancouver Police Department (VPD).

Police say officers on foot and horseback, as well as the VPD's canine unit, searched for the male suspect "extensively" throughout the four-square-kilometre park and its 27 kilometres of trails, but have not yet located him.

"We are in the early stages of this investigation, and there is some detail we are unable to share. However, we are telling the public about this incident so everyone can exercise caution in the area," VPD Sgt. Steve Addison said in the release.

Sgt. Steve Addison with the Vancouver Police Department answers questions from reporters on Sunday May 1, 2022 about a suspicious device discovered near the course of the BMO Vancouver Marathon.
Sgt. Steve Addison with the Vancouver Police Department answers questions from reporters on Sunday May 1, 2022 about a suspicious device discovered near the course of the BMO Vancouver Marathon.

Sgt. Steve Addison, seen here in May 2022, confirmed the Stanley Park attack was sexual in nature in a Tuesday email to CBC News. (GP Mendoza/CBC)

He confirmed the attack was sexual in nature in an email to CBC News on Tuesday morning.

"We're continuing to investigate and will have additional officers patrolling today throughout the park, including on the trails," Addison wrote.

The suspect, believed to be in his 20s, is described as having dark skin and being approximately five feet, seven inches tall. He was wearing a dark-coloured toque and a zip-up jacket with a checkered pattern on the front, according to the statement.

VPD is asking anyone with information or who was in the area at the time to contact them.