A Colombian student is fearing for her safety after a stranger followed the woman back to her Melbourne apartment in an attempted abduction.
Sarah, who has been in Australia for just five months, was followed by a man shortly after 2am on Saturday (local time) for about three blocks to her Southbank apartment.
The 23-year-old said the man followed her into the building’s lift and exited with her. After a brief exchange when Sarah became concerned, he grabbed her, covering her nose and mouth with one hand.
The man fled when Sarah pushed back and fell through the unlocked door, alerting her flatmate.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Sarah said she asked the man what he was looking for when they exited the lift together and he proceeded to follow her. He then allegedly asked Sarah if she was “Clarissa” from “Norway”.
Sarah told local media that she is too scared to go back to the apartment.
“I just want to be safe again and strong and independent like I used to be,” she said.
The 23-year-old feared the man would have s*xually assaulted or kidnapped her if he hadn’t been interrupted.
Victoria Police has described the attack as “calculated”, noting how the alleged offender covered his face with a hood when approaching security cameras or well-lit areas.
“This is extremely serious. The brazenness of him, he followed her up to her apartment building and up to her door,” Acting Sergeant Michael Tobin said during the press conference.
Police believe the man started following Sarah on or near Southbank Boulevard, all the way back to her building on Kavanagh Street.
A description of the Caucasian man places him in his 20s, with brown eyes, dark eyebrows, a clean-shaven face and a thin build.
Police have released CCTV images of the alleged attacker and are urging anyone with information or footage to come forward.