Kerrisdale Women Rally Against Rapist

Kerrisdale residents will rally tomorrow afternoon to fight a growing fear among women in the community that a serial sexual offender is at work there. 

Police fear the same man has assaulted three women in the past six month's -- all in the afternoon, all in public places. 

The man has grown more violent with each attack, leaving women wondering how they protect and inform themselves. 

"I do think about it," said Leslie Black, a member of the Vancouver Falcons Athletic Club who was training in the area yesterday.

"There's a lot of places where we run, where because it's isolated, it's ideal for running, but it's a prime place of people to grab you or hide in the bushes." 

The first two attacks occurred in November and January. In the most recent assault -- just over a week ago -- the suspect attacked a 21-year-old Japanese student from behind, knocking her to the ground, sexually assaulting her and punching her repeatedly in the head. 

The suspect is described as an athletically built Asian in his early 20s. He has worn baggy black or beige clothing as well as a black Fubu-brand jacket on one occasion. 

"We can't really do anything," said Annie Voong, 20. "He attacks women from behind -- how are you supposed to know where he is?" 

Some businesses have organized buddy systems, asking employees to accompany women as they leave work for their cars. Catherine Spearman, manager of the Cheshire Cheese Pub, said she has told her waitresses not to walk alone at night. 

"I think more information out there would be a good thing," said Spearman, echoing the sentiments of a number of women. "There's lots of people out there who don't even know about it." 

Monday's rally is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on the grass at 42nd Avenue between East and West boulevards. 

The event is being organized by Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter. 

Spokeswoman Suzanne Jay said the group will also put up posters. 

"We don't want people to be afraid to leave their homes," said Jay. 

"We'd like a very good composite drawing of him. Does he follow his victims for a while? What does his voice sound like? 

"We'd like for all women to know that."