Woman jumps out of car after attempted abduction in Central Auckland

By Cherie Howie, Vaimoana Tapaleao

Police have this afternoon given more details about the man alleged to have abducted a woman in Auckland's CBD today.

Officers are at Copeland St where the woman in her mid-20s is said to have jumped out of a moving car after she was forced into a vehicle while walking along nearby Ian McKinnon Drive.

Authorities believe the vehicle - described as a grey or silver mid-sized SUV, similar to a RAV4 or Honda CRV - was driven by a lone man at the time.

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Police alerted the public that the man's vehicle may have some damage to the front door of the passenger side.

Police say the man is described as being of either Maori or Pacific Island descent.

He was wearing a red and white checked shirt with a grey shirt underneath.

The abductor also had tattoos on both arms and the vehicle was said to be clean inside.

He is thought to be in his 30s.

He is described as being of large build and is up to 1.8m tall.

Police said this afternoon they believed this was a sexually-motivated crime.

The incident happened about 1.50pm today.

"At about 1.50pm this afternoon, a woman aged in her mid-20s was walking along Haslett St in Eden Terrace, Auckland. The woman was on her way to Ponsonby,'' police said.

"She saw a couple of parked cars with a man standing next to one of them.

"As she walked past the man, he grabbed her from behind and managed to drag her into the front passenger seat of his car.

"The man drove off with the woman in the vehicle.

"During this time, a struggle took place. However, the woman was able to break free and jump out of the moving vehicle.

Police said as the woman made her escape and as she opened the door, it hit a parked vehicle on Copeland St - damaging that vehicle's wing-mirror.

Police said two members of the public saw the woman jumping from the vehicle, before it sped off.

The car headed back towards Ian McKinnon Dr.

"The woman sustained some injury and was extremely upset.''

The people who witnessed the incident immediately went to help her and phoned police and ambulance.

The woman has been discharged from Auckland City Hospital.

"She was crying, she was really upset"

"The woman has jumped out of the car in Copeland Street and a member of the public has seen this and called 111,'' police said. Photo / Google
"The woman has jumped out of the car in Copeland Street and a member of the public has seen this and called 111,'' police said. Photo / Google

Witnesses have described distressing scenes late this afternoon.

Film student Talor Ormsby told the Herald he was in his Copeland St home when he heard what sounded like an argument outside.

"I heard some loud shouting from a girl. I came out. There was a guy on his cell and another guy walking back with a girl who was pretty upset.

"He was consoling her. She was crying, she was really upset and she had a bump on her head."

The woman appeared to be aged in her 20s and was Caucasian.

The incident was intense, Ormsby said.

"It's not something you expect, especially in this street. It's really quiet."

A vehicle outside Ormsby's home has had its wing mirror smashed off, and the mirror has been left crumpled on the road.

Angela Campbell arrived in the street, where her grandkids live, immediately after the incident.

She also saw the distressed young woman, who was sitting on the kerb and being consoled by a man.

She appeared to have injured her arm, Campbell said.

At the scene, police have blocked off Copeland St to traffic, but not to pedestrians.

At least four detectives can be seen knocking on residents' doors.

One officer is walking slowly up the middle of the road.

Police released information about the incident at 4pm.

"The woman has jumped out of the car in Copeland Street and a member of the public has seen this and called 111,'' police said.

"The woman has been taken to hospital in a moderate condition and detectives are at hospital with her.''

The driver remains on the loose and police are appealing for help to bring him in.

There is no clear description of him at this stage.

Police are due to give more information about the incident at a press conference at 5.30pm.

Anyone who has seen the car or one matching the description is urged to contact Auckland City Crime Squad: (09) 302 6557.

- NZ Herald

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