(File photo)

A Nanaimo woman in her 20s managed to fight off a stranger who assaulted her then attempted to force her into his vehicle as she walked home Thursday night.

The incident occurred at around 7 p.m. on Thursday March 24th in the 6900 block of Dickinson Road, near Max Bennett Pioneer Park.

Police said the woman told investigators that she was walking along Dickinson Road after being dropped off by an RDN transit bus when she noticed an SUV making strange turns.

The woman described the vehicle as a newer model silver-grey Mitsubishi Outlander SUV with an Alberta licence plate.

Seconds later, the vehicle approached the and a man unknown to the woman got out and asked her for directions. While looking the directions up on her phone, the man swung a blunt object at her, striking her in the head.

Despite the unexpected assault, the woman managed to fight off the suspect and ran to a nearby home where the residents of the home called 911.

Police said the suspect followed her on foot for a short distance, then got back in his vehicle and drove northbound on Dickinson Crossing.

“Police attended and spoke with the woman who had injuries to her upper body consistent with being assaulted,” said RCMP Const. Gary O’Brien in a statement Friday.

The woman was treated at the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

Police canvassed the area but were unable to locate the suspect or his vehicle.

The suspect is described as a white man, approximately 50 to 60 years old, with an average height and weight. He is described as having a scruffy face with grey or dark-brown hair.

Police say the Mitsubishi Outlander’s front bumper was hanging off as the sides were not attached to the vehicle. The SUV also had an electronic display screen inside.

“The woman is to be commended for her actions and removing herself from a dangerous situation. Her recall was also excellent and it will greatly assist in furthering the investigation,” said O’Brien.

Investigators are asking anyone who was in the area at that time or resides nearby and has security footage or dashcam video, to contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345, and quote file # 2022-9974.

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