A woman who was sexually assaulted in a Melbourne park managed to escape after grabbing the assailant’s knife and stabbing him, according to Victoria Police.
The 32-year-old was walking her friend’s dog through Thornbury’s Mayer Park at about 10:30pm on Saturday when she was approached by a man claiming he’d lost something, Fairfax reports. Moments later he produced a knife, forced the woman to the ground, and sexually assaulted her.
Detective Acting Inspector Janet Michell of Victoria Police told reporters that a struggle ensued, during which the woman managed to get a hold of the man’s knife.
"She [the victim] believes that when she took the knife and went to defend herself that she made contact with the offender," she said. The woman then ran onto the road and flagged down a passing motorist, while the assailant fled in another direction. Authorities spent hours combing the park for evidence on Saturday night, and blood found at the scene further led them to suspect that the man was injured before he ran away.
It was later suspected that the man might seek medical treatment for a stab wound.
"I think the woman was very brave to act the way she did,” Detective Mitchell said. “She obviously made an assessment and a decision on how she would handle it and it turned out very well for her."
The woman spent Saturday night in hospital, and was released on Sunday morning. Earlier today, following appeals by Victoria Police for any information on the assailant, a 21-year-old man handed himself in to Preston police station.