April told reporters this afternoon that she did not see the man who attacked her from behind after she exited a tram on Lygon Street at Brunswick until it was too late.
“I was moments from home,” she said. “I had no knowledge of him being near me or following me. I had gone to get some late night snacks and the first thing I was aware of was two arms wrapped around me … he tried to pull me into an alley.”
April managed to full her attacker’s arm from over her mouth and scream for help. The man ran to a bike and rode away, but not before he was captured on CCTV.
Detective Inspector Juliann Goldrick from the Sexual Crime Squad said footage from where April was attacked showed the suspect had been in the area for some time.
She said the footage showed him following another woman before he attacked April.
“We identified a second incident 10 minutes earlier, Det Insp Goldrick said.
“The same followed (another woman). From what I can see in the CCTV, (he was) maybe 20m behind her. It does appear he had been in the are for a little while.
April was on the number 6 tram from the city before she got off at Lygon Street and walked to a service station at the intersection of Glenlyon Road.
She later walked along Luscombe Street when she was dragged into the laneway.
April said she might not have been able to get away had the attacker been larger or stronger.
“This man didn’t manage to do what he wanted to do but there was clear intent,” she said.
“Nobody should feel unsafe. It doesn’t matter, man or woman. That night I was like thousands of other women walking home from a night out. This man thought he had the right to grab me. That’s not right. No woman should feel like they can’t come forward.
“We don’t know what this guy can do. It could be a worse outcome for someone else. If I had been a smaller woman it would’ve been a different story.”
She said she was “very angry”, especially after discovering the man was following multiple women.
“Because he’s basically been monitoring women moving around the area. It makes me incredibly angry, for her as well.”
The attacker has been described as slim build, about 170cm tall. Police say they could not determine his age from CCTV.
At the time of the attack, he was wearing a blue and grey zip-up hoodie, light coloured pants and a bike helmet.
Detectives are urging anyone who recognises him or remembers seeing him in the area on the night and may have dashcam footage to come forward.
Anyone with any information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au