Police cars line the road outside a Duncan St, Dunedin,
house where a female occupant was attacked yesterday
morning by a man not known to her. Photo by Stephen
The woman who was attacked by an unknown male assailant
in her Dunedin flat yesterday is "extremely lucky" to have
survived the random act of violence, police say.
The 26-year-old was in a stable condition in Dunedin Hospital
last night after undergoing surgery for stab wounds to her
neck and face.
A scene examination of the cordoned-off Duncan St, City Rise,
flat was carried out last night by forensics and CIB staff
and was expected to resume this morning, Detective Inspector
Kevin Hooper said.
The woman answered her front door about 8.30am and had a
brief chat with a male stranger, who then stabbed her after
getting inside the flat she shares with her 3-year-old
She managed to fend off her assailant and left the flat with
her daughter, who was unhurt.
Det Insp Hooper said a passing motorist saw the woman "in a
distressed state" and took the victim and her daughter to
Police had spoken briefly to the woman before her surgery
and, despite her injuries, she was able to provide
information about the attack.
"She is extremely lucky ...
"this is extremely serious and it is fortunate the stab
wounds didn't go a bit deeper."
Det Insp Hooper said early indications were the man had
chosen the house at random.
He declined to name the weapon used in the attack, or whether
it belonged to the man or was sourced from his victim's home.
"What we know is she suffered stab wounds. I have an idea of
what may have caused those stab wounds, but we don't want to
go into it."
He declined to say if the attack was sexually motivated.
The man was described as light-skinned and about 184cm tall,
with short hair and facial stubble. He was wearing jeans and
a black hoodie.
Twenty police staff were investigating the attack. They were
not looking at a particular suspect and were keeping an "open
mind", Det Insp Hooper said.
Police had increased patrols around City Rise and would be
canvassing the area again today.
"I would be asking people to use their common sense and be
mindful of their personal safety. If anyone saw anything
suspicious, not only between 7am and 9am [yesterday] but any
time over the last few weeks, we would be interested in
hearing about it."
Residents were asked to check their properties for "anything
that shouldn't be there", as the offender had left the scene
in an unknown direction.
Duncan St residents, including those who flat in the same
building where the attack took place, said they had heard
nothing until the large police presence arrived.
One resident said the woman was believed to have recently
relocated from the North Island, but police were not able to
confirm that last night.
Anyone with information can contact Dunedin police on
471-4800 or ring the anonymous Crimestoppers line, 0800 555