A female jogger has been viciously assaulted while jogging in the Auckland suburb of St Mary's Bay early on Friday morning.
She was jogging beside the Northern Motorway at 5am when she was grabbed by a man and dragged into nearby bushes.
The man then strangled and indecently assaulted her, police say. She was rescued by a passing cyclist who heard her screams and came to her aid.
The offender then took off on foot in the direction of Swift Avenue and Ring Terrace. He was last seen jumping over a fence.
Both the victim and the witness went to the police to report the incident. The victim and her family are now receiving counselling and support from police and Auckland Sexual Assault HELP.
Police are now visiting nearby witnesses, looking for CCTV in the area and examining the scene.
"This was a random attack by a stranger," said Detective Inspector Scott Beard.
"We want to assure the community that we have a team of investigators working on this case and Police will be increasing our frontline presence in the area while we work to identify and catch this offender."
The offender is believed to be in his 20s or younger. He has been described as male, dark skinned, possibly Indian with short black hair and a slim build. He may have been wearing a dark blue jersey with white writing.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Auckland City Crime Squad on 09 302 6557 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.