A six-year-old girl dragged away and assaulted by a man in a
West Auckland reserve last night is "traumatised'' and has
been treated for scratches.
At a police press conference this afternoon, police said the
girl's mother intervened when she heard her daughter's
screams for help.
Detective Sergeant Peter Litherland told media the girl was
attacked by a man in Glendene Reserve about 8.30pm in what
police believe was a sexually motivated attack.
While playing with two friends, the girl was dragged by the
man into a section of the reserve by a creek.
The girl's mother ran to her assistance when she heard
Her attacker, who was wearing a black t-shirt, fled the
scene, wet from the creek and leaving his "distinctive''
white jandals behind.
Mr Litherland said the girl was "traumatised'' and had been
treated at hospital for scratches.
"This type of attack is not tolerated. It's traumatic for the
"We need to identify this individual. He could try this
The man, believed to be a Henderson local, is described as
young, skinny and of Pacific Island descent or mixed race.
"Because the offender ran through the reserve, he may have
been at the intersection of Farquhar Road and Phelps Place
shortly after, and we're hopeful that anyone who was in the
area can think back to what they were doing last night and
whether they saw someone of this description, between
8pm-9pm. This person has got home somehow wearing wet clothes
and no shoes and someone will have seen him," Mr Litherland
There hadn't been any other similar attacks in the area, but
having the man at large meant it could happen again, he said.
"It's very important we find him."
The young girl is recovering from her ordeal with close
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Waitakere
Police on 09 839 0627, or anonymously contact Crimestoppers
on 0800 555 111.
- By Anna Leask of the NZ Herald