A city-wide hunt is continuing today for a man who police say
may have been wearing a high-visibility vest when he
allegedly attacked and raped a woman in her Christchurch
A large number of police converged on Middlepark Rd in
Riccarton about 10.50am yesterday after reports a woman in
her 20s had been sexually assaulted.
The woman was treated at the scene by St John Ambulance
medics and is now being cared for by family members.
She will be formally interviewed today and a scene
examination will be completed.
Detective Senior Sergeant Darryl Sweeney says the main focus
today will be on enquiries around the Middlepark Road
property, with staff out talking to residents and people in
"There's been a good response from the public to appeals for
information with a lot of useful information received, and
investigators are following up on that information," he said.
"We're continuing to call for any sightings of the suspect,
or information about suspicious activity in the area."
Approximately 30 police staff are currently working on the
Mr Sweeney said the alleged attacker, described as aged in
his 40s with two front teeth missing and possibly wearing a
high-visibility vest, was not known to the victim.
Police want to speak to anyone who may have seen a person
answering this description, or any other unusual activity in
the Middlepark Rd area between 10am and 11am yesterday.
"We would also like to hear from anyone in the area who has
noticed any suspicious activity or vehicles in the vicinity
over recent days and weeks, including unfamiliar people
knocking on doors or visiting properties," Mr Sweeney said.
Police swooped on Westfield Mall in Riccarton about 12.50pm
after police at the shopping centre saw a man fitting the
description of the attacker.
The man, who was wearing a high-visibility vest, was
interviewed and released.
St Thomas of Canterbury College was locked down for about an
hour while police scoured the neighbourhood.
Stevie Cormack, who lives next door to the house where the
alleged rape occurred, said she was out yesterday morning and
came home to find the street packed with police.
"It's a little bit frightening," Ms Cormack said. "I've got
two little kiddies and it's not a nice thing to have happened
Anyone with information is asked to contact Christchurch
police on 03 363 7400 or provide information anonymously to
Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.