A woman running on a Columbia foot path this week was sexually assaulted, according to Howard County Police.
On Aug. 7 at 6:30 p.m., police said the woman was running on a path near the intersection of Stone Cloud and Majors Lane when she heard someone running behind her. Police said a man grabbed her breasts from behind, causing the woman to scream and the man to flee.
A witness running in the area ran toward the screaming, police said, and assisted the victim in filing a report with the nearby police satellite office, police said.
Police described the man as black, 20 to 30 years old, with no facial hair, wearing dark colored athletic clothing.
Police offer the following safety tips for residents walking or jogging on sidewalks or pathways:
- Familiarize yourself with the area, and know your route before you travel.
- Stay on designated sidewalks and pathways, and do not venture off into isolated areas.
- When possible, bring a buddy.
- If traveling alone, tell family or friends where you are going and when you expect to return.
- Stay alert, and carry a cell phone.
- Do not wear headphones because they may distract you from your surroundings.
- If a stranger approaches, follows you or makes you feel uncomfortable, turn around, call police and head toward a group of people or a home.
Police have increased patrols in the area on bike, on foot and in cars. Anyone with information is urged to call 410-313-STOP. Callers may remain anonymous. Citizens may also provide anonymous tips through the free smartphone app, “iWatchHowardCounty.”