A 21-year-old North Laurel woman was attacked and raped early yesterday as she got out of her car at an apartment complex, Howard County police said.
The woman was treated at Howard County General Hospital and released yesterday. Police said she was the county's 13th rape victim this year -- a pace that indicates such crimes are still on the increase in the county.
According to police, the woman had just left her car in the 9600 block of Barrel House Road in North Laurel when a man grabbed her about 3:30 a.m.
Police said she struggled with the man as he tried to drag her away, but she could not get loose. The man struck her and dragged her to a nearby wooded area in the 9700 block of Whiskey Run.
There, police said, the man sexually assaulted the woman and punched her several times in the face and head. Afterward, he ran east on North Laurel Road near the Whiskey Bottom Shopping Center.
The woman ran to her home and called police about 3:50 a.m. She told police she did not know her attacker.
No arrests had been made yesterday, though police managed to get a description from the victim. The attacker was described as a 6-foot black man in his 20s, with a muscular build and short hair. He wore a black Starter jacket, baggy blue jeans and a green dress shirt.
Police said they do not know where the man was hiding before he attacked the woman.
Last year, the county witnessed a 45 percent increase in rapes, from 20 in 1993 to 29 in 1994. Also, there were two attempted rapes last year, according to Howard County police statistics.
Anyone with information on the most recent attack should call Howard County police at 313-3700 or the Metro Crime Stoppers Hotline at 276-8888 to qualify for a reward of up to $2,000.