Jogger sexually assaulted on path in Columbia - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Jogger sexually assaulted on path in Columbia

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Howard County police are stepping up patrols around the footpaths after a woman was sexually assaulted in a brazen daytime attack.

It happened at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday on a popular trail off Majors Lane at Old Montgomery Road and Stone Cloud Lane.

Police say a man ran up behind a woman who was jogging alone and grabbed both of her breasts. She screamed and he ran off.

"I never thought anything like this would happen in this neighborhood and so close to me," neighbor Sydney Roberson says.

She says the trail is a popular shortcut to Oakland Mills High School, but there are some remote spots.

"At the end, there aren't any houses,” says Roberson. “Just trees on both sides of you. It's very dark in the morning. Just an uncomfortable feeling.”

Another runner heard the screams and ran to help the victim. They were able to give police a description of the attacker who is still on the loose. Investigators will only say he is a black male between 20 and 30 years old with no facial hair. At the time of the attack, he was wearing dark running attire.

Police are urging women not use the trails alone, to stay in well-lit areas with lots of people around, and if something seems out of the ordinary, head towards a group of people or a home and call 911.

"We are increasing patrols in that area -- on bikes, on foot, and we're even bringing in our mounted officers on horseback for additional patrol in addition to regular patrol cars," says Howard County Police Public Information Officer Mary T. Phelan.

If you know anything, you are urged to call the Howard County Police tipline at 410-313-STOP.

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