Gorilla-masked man grabs woman

Second Nanaimo woman assaulted by man in gorilla mask this year.

A man wearing a gorilla mask grabbed a woman walking her dogs in Nanaimo last week.

The incident happened at about 9:30 a.m. Dec. 21 when the woman, 20, was walking her dogs in an alley near Piper’s Pub in Nanaimo’s Hammond Bay district.

Police said one of the dogs started growling just before a man, dressed entirely in black and wearing a gorilla mask, appeared and grabbed her by the arm.

The dogs protected their owner by barking frantically. The man ran off when one of the dogs started biting him.

The woman called 911, but police who conducted extensive patrols in the area failed to turn up the suspect, who was described as wearing black jeans, black jacket, black gloves and a brown gorilla mask and may have suffered a dog bite.

This is Nanaimo’s second assault by someone wearing a gorilla mask this year.

In April, a woman jogging through Westwood Lake Park was assaulted by a naked man wearing a gorilla mask, who grabbed her by the leg and rubbed himself against her.

She kicked her assailant and fled, but he caught up with her again about one kilometre farther down the trail, this time wearing a gorilla mask and black track pants. The woman fled until she could find help from other joggers who called police.

The suspect in that case was described as about 5′ 10″ tall, Caucasian, skinny with dark hair and weighing about 170 lbs.

So far, police have not caught a suspect in either of the incidents.

Police are a reminding everyone out jogging or partaking in other outdoor activities around Nanaimo to exercise extra caution and be aware of their surroundings.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.