An arrest warrant has been issued for a man sought in an early morning assault this week in a downtown St. John's laneway.
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary sexual assault unit said it has laid charges in a violent assault on a woman Wednesday morning. Police were alerted at 3:15 a.m. that a woman was in distress in the laneway towards the east end of Water Street connecting with Harbour Drive.
The incident is being investigated as a sexual assault.
Police are looking for Manuel John Clark in connection with the assault. The public is being warned to alert police, who say the man is known to them, has a criminal record and is considered violent.
"We ask the public to exercise due diligence, but don't approach this individual," RNC Acting Insp. Barry Constantine told reporters Friday afternoon.
The woman was returning to a cruise ship she worked on when the assault is reported to have occurred. According to Constantine, she was walking with Clark down the alleyway.
But the woman, not believed to be from the province, did not know him until an hour before the incident, according to police.
It's believed she met him in the street.
"The only thing I would say in this particular incident, this individual did socialize an hour or so beforehand. So, even though this person is not known to her, she had some interaction," Constantine said.
He said police have every reason to believe Clark is still in the St. John's area.
Constantine reminded people to use caution in the early hours of the morning in isolated areas such as alleys and laneways, because it's harder to attract help.
"We still believe St. John's to be a very safe city," Constantine said.
The warrant has been issued for Manuel John Clark (a.k.a.) John Clark, 34, last living at 1-C Colonial St. He is known to frequent the downtown area. Clark is described as 5'8" 150 lbs with short/collar length dark hair, gaunt face with dominant facial lines. He is unshaven.
Anyone with information on Clark is asked to contact the RNC at 729-8000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222 TIPS(8477).