A woman’s dogs are being hailed as little heroes after they thwarted a brazen sex attacker who struck in Williamstown Cemetery.
“Kate” was walking her shih tzu and terrier-cross through the cemetery on Champion Road at 8.30pm on Saturday, June 29, when she was attacked from behind by an unknown man.
Kate said she had stopped as her dogs, Louie and RuPaul, had rushed off to chase a rabbit.
“I got pushed from behind into the ground and attacked,” she said.
“I started screaming, pretty much straight away, like, at the top of my lungs.
“They (my dogs) viciously attacked him, like, growling, biting, and I think, with my screaming and the struggling, it made him stop.
“I keep thinking about what would have happened if they had run off or not done anything.
“I think that they saved me.”
Kate said she was disgusted by the attack, which “came out of nowhere”.
“I didn’t hear anyone behind me, around me, so it’s just quite scary – even the fact that maybe I was being watched before it happened.
“He got to the point where he was trying to take my pants down and I was kind of pushed into the mud, unable to really move.
“By that point, when he had gone that far, my screams got louder, I tried to move as much as I could and the dogs were going for it.”
The man released Kate and ran away.
Kate sprinted home, followed by her dogs.
Detective Senior Constable Jenna Sladek of the Westgate Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team said police were urging anyone with information to come forward.
“We’re aware that people congregate in the cemetery at night so we’re urging and really keen to speak to any of those people who may have witnessed or have been in the area at the time of the incident.
“The nature of the offending is quite serious and that’s why we want to reassure the public that this is an isolated incident, it is a one-off.”
She praised Kate’s dogs for protecting their owner.
“We are classing them as little heroes … they did a really good job of helping her.”
The man is described as having a large build and was wearing a black puffer jacket and white beanie at the time of the attack.
He was last seen running towards KC White Reserve in Park Crescent.
The Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust chief executive Deb Ganderton said security would be reviewed.
“At this time, our thoughts are with the woman who was sexually assaulted,” she said.
“The assault is the subject of an immediate review as part of GMCT’s ongoing security assessment process.
“GMCT is intent on providing pedestrian access to all our cemeteries and we have no plans to place time restrictions on that access.
“We do close off motor vehicle entry to our cemeteries at the end of the day.”
Louie and Rupaul look like friendly pooches… but the fluffy pets have been hailed heroes after coming to the rescue when their owner was attacked by a sexual predator at Williamstown Cemetery @9NewsMelb pic.twitter.com/0y1PA7HXg3
— Neary Ty (@NearyTy_9) July 9, 2019
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at www.crimestoppers.com.au.
With Benjamin Millar