17-year-old girl hospitalised after assault in Flemish Brabant village

17-year-old girl hospitalised after assault in Flemish Brabant village
Llelieboomgaardenstraat, the street in which the victim ran down to escape her assailant. Credit: Google Street View.

A 17-year-old girl has been hospitalized after she was assaulted by a man and threatened with a knife whilst jogging on Sunday evening in Erps-Kwerps, a village in Vlaams-Brabant.

The girl, who has remained unnamed, was able to defend herself and escape, but her injuries and shock resulted in her hospitalisation. Police have launched an investigation to find her assailant, according to Belgian media.

“My sister had gone for a run in Erps-Kwerps just before 21:00 on Sunday. It was still light then, and we assumed that she would be back in about thirty minutes to an hour. She brought her mobile phone. When she still wasn't back at 22:20 we started to worry,” said the sister of the victim, Anna, to HLN on Monday evening.

By 22:30, when the victim was still missing, the police were alerted. At 23:14 the police received a message from a couple on Kasteelstraat, Erps-Kwerps. When the victim was found “her clothes were torn, she was completely dirty and exhausted, and also in shock”, said Anna.

According to Anna's report, the victim was attacked from behind, as she was running. The assailant then pushed her to ground, threatening with a knife, attempting to cut her clothes open.

However, the victim was able to defend herself, causing the assailant to run away and allowing the victim herself to “run through the woods and the Lelieboomgaardenstraat, to the Kasteelstraat, where she was then found by those people who called the police and us”, said Anna.

The victim was left with scratches on her body and a cut on her face. She was also experiencing severe shock and consequently spent the Sunday night in Gasthuisberg Hospital, Leuven. She has since returned home.

The assailant remains unidentified, but according to the victim he was a white, French-speaking man in grey sweatpants and a white sleeveless top, with short, dark hair, and likely between 35 and 40 years old.

“The man who attacked my sister has not yet been found, but we believe this will happen soon”, said Anna.

Alongside launching an investigation to find her assailant, the police have confirmed that they will conduct an investigation as to whether the attack constitutes sexual assault, but they do not want to give more details for the time being.

Madeleine Fletcher

The Brussels Times

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