A woman in her twenties was walking on a trail near 240 Street and 106 Avenue in Maple Ridge around nine a.m. when a man wearing a balaclava and black gloves grabbed her from behind.
Ridge Meadows RCMP Cpl. Alanna Dunlop said the suspect fondled the woman before she was able to fight him off.
"The suspect managed to undo some of the woman's clothing," she said.
The assault followed another suspicious incident in the same area in which a man approached a student on her way to Samuel Robertson Technical School on 104 Avenue. The female student was not assaulted.
"The male asked her where she was going. The student did not respond," said Dunlop.
Dunlop said the RCMP don't know for sure whether the two incidents are related.
Police searched the area with dogs, but were unable to turn up a suspect.
The suspect is a white man in his forties, approximately six feet tall, with medium-length dark hair. He was last seen wearing a hooded black rain jacket with white lettering on the back.