A woman who was abducted on Thursday in Motueka was not raped but ‘‘that was clearly the intention’’, said detective John Nicholls.
The 32-year old Motueka woman was walking home alone after drinking with friends at Motty Malone’s bar when a car stopped alongside her on High St soon after 12.15am.
Near the intersection with Lowe St, a block south of the town’s CBD, she was approached by a man in what she later described as a ‘‘square shaped’’ white four door sedan.
She said the man told her he was lost and needed directions. He seemed confused and told her that if she got in the car to show him where to go, he would drop her home.
When she got into the car the man attacked her, forced something over her face, possibly to try to gag and blindfold her, and then tried to take her clothes off, said Mr Nicholls.
The man drove to near the walkway on Wharf St, about 2km away, and stopped the car. The woman managed to fight off the driver and was able to get the car door open.
‘‘She hopped out of the car and legged it,’’ said Mr Nicholls. He said she suffered minor injuries, including a ‘‘tiny fat lip’’.
She last saw the car heading south along SH60 towards Mariri.
She returned home, discussed the incident with her partner and other family and the police were contacted at 5am.
The driver of the car was described as in his late 30s or 40s with straggly brown hair. He was wearing a brown jacket.
Mr Nicholls said the attack was a ‘‘timely reminder’’ to not walk the streets alone at night.
‘‘There are people out there who will prey on those in a vulnerable state and this is a possible example of that.’’
He said the attack appeared to be opportunistic and the woman was upset. ‘‘She realises what a close call this was.’’