An alleyway between Water Street and Harbour Drive, St. Johns, where a woman was assaulted early this morning. Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram
A woman returning to a cruise vessel docked in St. John's harbour early this morning was assaulted by a man she did not know, according to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.
The incident is being investigated by the RNC's sexual assault unit.
A passerby flagged down a police cruiser around 3:15 a.m., saying there was a woman in distress in an alleyway, said Acting Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Insp. Barry Constantine.
The alleyway connects Water Street with Harbour Drive near a former bar towards the west end of Water Street.
The woman - who police say worked aboard the ship - was taken to hospital and treated for undisclosed injuries. Whether it was a sexual assault or attempted sexual assault has not yet been determined.
The assault happened after the woman had left a downtown nightclub and she was alone at the time.
"In general, alleys would create concern for us as a police force. Whether an alley or secluded area, your ability to call for help or flag somebody down for assistance is compromised and we would advise - especially in the late and dark times and late evenings - we would advise to stay away from them and be in an open area," Constantine told reporters during a news briefing.
Police responded to the incident with its K9 unit. Investigators are in the process of obtaining a description of the attacker.