ADELAIDE, Australia – Two female backpackers from Europe were savagely attacked on a remote Australian beach by a traveling companion they had met hours earlier, police said on Wednesday.
A 59-year-old Australian man was charged Wednesday with a string of offenses including attempted murder and unlawful sexual intercourse following the attack that left both women, aged in their 20s, in hospital.
The court suppressed the man's name and police have not revealed the women's nationalities to protect their identities.
The women had met their alleged attacker on Tuesday and had driven with him in his four-wheel drive vehicle 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast from the South Australia state capital Adelaide to Tea Tree Point beach in the Coorong National Park where they set up camp for the night, Police Superintendent James Blandford said.
The Adelaide man allegedly attacked both women at the camp site before one managed to flee naked from the scene.
"One of the victims was able to run away and came across some people who were fishing in the area and they were able to comfort and secure her and make phone calls to police," Blandford told reporters.
One of those men who found her, Abdul-Karim Mohammed, said the scene was confronting with the woman screaming, crying and yelling.
"She ran straight to the car yelling. She opened the back door, jumped straight in and like, `get me out of here, get me out of here. He's going to kill us all,"' Mohammed told Seven News television.
"She had some scratches and that on the legs. Looked like she'd been pulled around, dragged around and that," Mohammed added.
Police were called and arrested the alleged attacker in the national park on Tuesday evening.
Police Superintendent James Blandford said the women had met their alleged attacker on Tuesday and had driven with him to the Coorong National Park where they set up camp for the night. He attacked that evening before one of the women fled and raised the alarm.