A mother-of-two was punched in the face and dragged into bushes in a daylight attack on a canal towpath in Halifax.
Her attacker only stopped because he was disturbed by a nearby dog walker and fled the scene on foot towards the town centre.
Following her terrifying ordeal which took place on the towpath near Phoebe Lane at around 12.45pm on Wednesday, the victim contacted the Halifax Courier to warn others.
“I was walking along the towpath and he was approaching from the opposite direction. He was loosening his arms up like a boxer. That caught my attention,” said the 24-year-old.
“I kept looking, but I kept my head down. I put my phone to the side of my sleeve because I thought he might take it. I kept walking and he walked past me laughing to himself.
“He then swung around, punched me in the cheek and pushed me to the floor.
“He scratched my chest and he was trying to pull me over to the right hand side into the bushes.
“I was just trying to pull his hands off me. I could hear someone calling their dog or singing out loud and then he got up and ran towards town.”
The victim, who works in sales, said she contacted her partner to tell him what happened and walked back to her home in Salterhebble in a terrified daze.
“It’s really scared me to be honest. I have been to the shops but I ran back home. I felt like I was having a panic attack. I couldn’t breathe. It’s horrible. I don’t want to be alone,” said the victim, who was left with reddening to the face and chest following the assault.
“It just concerns me because I had my phone, I had money on me but he never asked for anything. He could have had my phone because it had fallen on the ground.
“I’m just worried that he might be successful with someone else. A lot of my friends run down there and I walk along there all the time. I just don’t want him to be successful in doing that to somebody else.”
Police have issued a witness appeal following the assault and said the man they are looking for in connection to it is white, of skinny build, with short, straight blond hair. He was wearing a black baseball jacket with a red logo on the left breast and red buttons.
Inspector Richard Armstead, of Calderdale Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “I would seek to reassure the public that local officers are aware of the description of this male and are making active enquires into tracing him.
“This was a particularly distressing incident for the victim and I would urge anyone who was in the area who saw a male matching the suspect’s description to get in contact.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Halifax Central Neighbourhood Policing Team via 101.