Police warn of stalker at popular Hamilton lake

MATT BOWEN
Last updated 05:00 13/06/2014
hamilton lake
Fairfax NZ
BE WARY: Waikato police to advise women using the Hamilton lake area to stay to the main path, preferably go with company and take a cellphone.

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A man who allegedly dragged a woman behind a shed at a popular Hamilton leisure spot has not been caught.

Police have spoken to "a couple" of potential suspects, but have not charged anyone over the attempted abduction, Detective Sergeant Kristine Clarke of the Hamilton CIB said.

On Thursday, May 22, a man grabbed a woman between 11am and noon at the Hamilton Lake Reserve.

Lake Rotoroa is a favourite for Hamilton residents who walk and run around its perimeter. The woman's attacker tried to drag her behind a shed before a passerby intervened and the man ran off.

Police appealed for information about the offender and it prompted another woman to come forward.

Her encounter was less dramatic yet the sexual nature of the advance led police to believe it was the same offender.

The woman, in her 30s, had parked on the lake's eastern shore to use her phone, on the same day, when a man approached her about 2.30pm.

The first time he made an innocuous inquiry, but he returned and "made some inappropriate sexual connotation- type comments to her".

The woman cut off the conversation and drove away.

Her description of the man was similar to that given for the attempted abduction earlier that day.

He was described as a light-skinned Maori or Pacific Islander in his late teens or early 20s.

He was of heavy build and had either a gap in his top front teeth or chipped top front teeth.

Clarke said the case remains open and they are hopeful they will be able to identify the offender.

The brazen nature of the incident worried Clarke.

She advised women using the lake area to stay to the main path, preferably go with company and take a cellphone.

Meanwhile, a pensioner who was assaulted after confronting a man about breaking the rule of riding on a pedestrian only section of the lake walkway says he wouldn't do so again.

"Would I ever again do what I thought my civic duty was at the time and tell a speeding cyclist on a footpath he shouldn't be doing it?" Russell McLachlan said.

"No, I wouldn't, but not because of any fear of being whacked again. But because the law is broken daily by cyclists with little policing by authorities and it would just be a waste of my time."

His attacker will be sentenced in August.

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- Waikato Times

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