Officers say the assault took place just after 1:00 a.m. PT on Wednesday morning, when the 36-year-old woman was walking east on Kingsway near Sidney Street, just east of Victoria Drive.
A man walked by her and grabbed her breast, police say. He began to walk away, but then allegedly ran at the woman, grabbed her and sexually assaulted her.
The woman screamed, fought off the attacker and fled, say police.
The VPD says during her escape, the woman ran into traffic and climbed into an older model minivan, being driven by another woman.
Officers say they have been unable to locate the minivan or the driver, however, they have separately identified a person of interest in the assault.
The minivan driver or anyone else with information regarding the assault is urged to contact the VPD Sex Crimes Unit at (604) 717-0600.
Google Map: Kingsway near Sidney Street