Vancouver police say a Coquitlam man faces charges over allegations he attacked an 18-year-old exchange student on Sunday. 

Sgt. Steve Addison says in a statement that the victim was walking with a friend in downtown Vancouver when a stranger “sucker-punched” her, knocking her out cold.

Passersby, including a doctor, helped the injured woman, who was taken to hospital as a precaution, while officers canvassed businesses for video that could identify the suspect, who had left the scene.

Police say they found the 26-year-old suspect in the downtown core within 40 minutes of the attack.

They say the Coquitlam man was already wanted on a Mental Health Act warrant and he was arrested for assault and breaching a probation order. 

This is the latest in a series of random assaults in the city and police have issued numerous warnings about so-called “stranger attacks” over the last several months.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 28, 2022.

The Canadian Press