Young jogger abducted and attacked

Police attend a call-out on Riverside Drive near the skate park. Photo / John Stone
Police attend a call-out on Riverside Drive near the skate park. Photo / John Stone

A young female jogger was abducted early yesterday morning, sexually assaulted then dumped by her attacker badly injured in central Whangarei.

The attack sparked a police manhunt that culminated in the arrest of a 40-year-old man after officers spotted a vehicle of interest they had been searching for.

The woman, in her early twenties, was attacked while jogging around Hatea Loop in central Whangarei at 6:30 yesterday morning. She was dragged into a vehicle, taken to an address and assaulted. The accused then left the woman on the street in central Whangarei.

A member of the public called emergency services just before 7:30 yesterday morning.

The man will appear in Whangarei District Court today charged with abduction, sexual violation and wounding with intent to injure. He remained in police custody overnight.

The car was seized for forensic examination. A residential Whangarei address will also be forensically examined by police and ESR.

The woman is in hospital in a stable condition.

Inspector Justin Rogers of Northland Police said, "This is a terrible crime and our thoughts are tonight with the victim. She is being supported by family members, police and Victim Support."

"I know the community will be shocked and angered by this, however I would like to reassure everyone that we have caught the person alleged to have done this, he is in custody and we are not looking for anyone else. We have put every resource available to us into this case from early this morning and I hope this arrest will bring some degree of comfort to the residents of Whangarei," he said.

Police would like to hear from anyone who saw a Blue Nissan Serena people-mover with tinted windows and silver trim below the door line in the Whangarei area, particularly around the Hatea Loop, in the days leading up to this attack. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Whangarei CIB on 09 430 4500.

- NZ Herald

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