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Woman walking on Ritchie Highway in Glen Burnie dragged into woods, raped by stranger Wednesday afternoon, police say

A woman in her 40s was walking home along the Ritchie Highway in Glen Burnie around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday when an unknown man emerged from the woods, grabbed her arm, pulled her into the woods and raped her, Anne Arundel County police said.

The woman told police she tried to fight back but her attacker said he had a weapon and would kill her. The assailant, described as a tall Black man wearing a black ski mask, black sweater and sweatpants with white shoes, ran after assaulting her in the 6300 block of Ritchie Highway.

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The woman left the wooded area by the northbound side of the highway and hunkered down by a nearby building for an hour before reporting the attack to police. Police said the area is densely covered by trees and a tented area was nearby that appeared to be occupied by homeless individuals.

Police are looking for additional witnesses. Since there was heavy car traffic in the area at the time of the attack, police are asking the public to report any suspicious activity they may have seen.

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Police say sexual assault by strangers is uncommon, but there have been other incidents in the area. Police look at “any and all rapes that have similar modus operandi to see if there is a connection,” a spokesperson said.

In May 2019, an 18-year-old woman told police that a man pulled her into a grassy area from a roadway where she was walking in Glen Burnie and tried to remove her clothing. She described the suspect as a black male, about 5′10″ tall with a heavy build and hairy arms.

A week after that 2019 attack, a man with no fixed address was charged with rape after cornering and assaulting a woman in the downtown Glen Burnie parking garage. That woman was also assaulted around 2 p.m. She described the man as “shorter, skinny with a belly, short stubble facial hair, short black hair.”

Kevin Arnold France served eight months jail time after pleading guilty to second-degree assault and a fourth-degree sex offense.

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County detectives are investigating the most recent January attack and ask anyone with information to come forward by calling the Anne Arundel County Sex Offense Unit at 410-222-4732. Anonymous tips can be made at the Anne Arundel County Police Tip Line at 410-222-4700.

Reporter Alex Mann contributed to this report.

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