A health worker was left badly shaken when a man allegedly
tried to sexually assault her in broad daylight outside
Waikato Hospital yesterday.
Police are praising members of the public and hospital staff
for reacting swiftly to the situation and providing
information which led to the arrest of an 18-year-old man
Detective Sergeant Daryl Smith said the 54-year-old woman was
returning to her car in the Pembroke St car park, opposite
the hospital, about 2pm when she was attacked.
"The woman screamed for help and managed to break free from
her attacker, running towards a member of the public to raise
the alarm. The offender fled the car park and crossed the
road into the hospital grounds," he said.
"Waikato Hospital security staff alerted police and were able
to supply good quality security camera images that greatly
assisted us with our enquiries."
Hospital communications director Mary Anne Gill said the
woman in question was a health professional who, while not
employed by the hospital, was visiting in a professional
"Our hearts go out to her. It's really awful for this to have
happened when she was just going about her work," she said.
"It was busy in the emergency department so for him to try
this in broad daylight is pretty awful."
Ms Gills said the hospital's security procedures had worked
well and the reaction from staff couldn't have been quicker.
"A member of the public contacted our security people and
within 45 seconds of that first call the security guards were
over in the carpark and were on the lookout for this
particular person," she said.
Police said the woman was badly shaken but not hurt.
The alleged attacker, who was found at an address in
Deanwell, was being interviewed by police.
Mr Smith said the victim did everything right once she
noticed she was under threat.
"She screamed to draw attention to her predicament and
members of the public came to her assistance. If anyone finds
themselves in a threatening situation like this, police
advise you to make as much noise as possible to draw
attention to your plight and possibly scare the offender
- Matthew Theunissen of APNZ