On Friday afternoon, RCMP made an arrest in case of the previous night’s assault on a West Shore woman along a popular Colwood walking trail, however that suspect was subsequently released without charge.
At approximately 11:40 p.m. on Thursday night, West Shore RCMP responded to the Hatley Memorial Gardens area of Colwood after receiving a report of a woman being assaulted. 21 year-old Ashley Hennebury had been walking with a suitcase on the trail from Adye Road through the Memorial Gardens when a heavy set man with “bad teeth” and a stubbly beard approached her.
The man attempted to speak with Hennebury, but she ignored him. The man then grabbed her suitcase, and when she resisted him, he struck her in the face.
Police responded with the help of Saanich Police Dog service but were unable to locate the suspect.
The victim did not require medical attention after the attack.
About noon on Friday, Hennebury spotted someone just a few blocks from that same path who looked like the man who had attacked her the night before, wearing similar clothes – a black baseball cap with a tattered brim, blue jeans and a blue jean jacket. She called 911 and West Shore RCMP attended with the help of the Saanich canine unit, and arrested the man after determining that he may have been who they were searching for.
The suspect cooperated with police and was released without charge, “as there was simply no evidence to support charges against him,” according to West Shore RCMP spokesperson Const. Alex Berube.
Police say they are not linking the Colwood assault to the attack on the female jogger in Langford on March 3 at this time, but are investigating to determine if there are any similarities. In that incident, which is still under investigation, a woman was knocked unconscious and sexually assaulted on a jogging trail near Glen Lake Park in Langford. No arrest has been made in that case.
As always, anyone with information about either of these cases or any other incident is being asked to contact the West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).