Witnesses to attempted lake abduction sought

Casey Crime Investigations Unit Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Luke Shore. Photo: Chloe Henry. 286698_02

By Eleanor Wilson

Police are appealing for witnesses following an attempted abduction of a 36-year old woman at Lysterfield Lake on Saturday afternoon.

At a press conference on Tuesday 21 June Casey Crime Investigations Unit Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Luke Shore said The Dandenong North woman parked her vehicle at the Churchill Park car park, at Arthur G Robinson Bushland Reserve at Lysterfield Lake.

Investigators established the woman was wearing headphones and walking east along the North Boundary Track, prior to Stonemasons Track around 4:15pm when she was grabbed from behind.

The man grabbed her around the waist and put a hand over her mouth, attempting to drag her to the ground, Sergeant Shore said.

The woman was able to break free from the man’s grasp, before running back to her car and calling emergency services, police say.

Sergeant Shore said there was no indication the man attempted to follow her after she broke free from him.

Police were treating the attempted abduction as an isolated incident, he said.

“If members of the public are able to identify the male in question, through any information they may have or from viewing our digital image that we’ve disseminated, we’d encourage those people to contact Triple-Zero or alternatively contact Crime Stoppers,” he said.

“We’re using every available resource we can in relation to this investigation to try and ascertain exactly what’s occurred and how we can ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

He said the woman was not physically injured in the attack but is quite traumatized by the events that took place.

“She’s quite shaken up by the incident, and we’ll put the support in place to assist her with that,” he said.

Detectives have released a computer-generated image of a man they believe may be able to assist with their enquiries.

He is perceived to be African in appearance, about 183cm tall, aged between 20-40 years old and was wearing a grey beanie and grey jumper.

They are yet to speak to any witnesses in relation to the attempted abduction.

“It is concerning to us. That part of the world is one of the nicest parts of our police service area and a lot of people regularly use that for recreational activities including walking, jogging and cycling,” Sergeant Shore said.

“I think any member of the public has the right to feel safe in that area anytime of the day, to go about their leisurely exercise on the weekend.”

Any information to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.