Howard County police are looking for a man who grabbed and attempted to rape a 35-year-old Columbia woman as she crossed a footbridge in Town Center Tuesday afternoon.
Police searched the woods near the county's Central Library and Lake Kittamaqundi shortly after the attack was reported at 4:30 p.m., but found no one. The victim was treated for bruises and a fractured nose at Howard County General Hospital and released.
Police say the woman was walking across the bridge, which crosses U.S. 29, when she noticed a man approaching her from behind. Police say the man pushed the woman off the path into the woods, where he tried to remove her clothes and hit her in the face.
Two children who rode their bikes across the bridge are credited with startling the attacker, who ran toward Oakland Mills. Police say they haven't been able to find the two children to interview them.
Callers can qualify for a Metro Crime Stoppers' reward of up to $1,000 for information by phoning 276-8888.
* Harper's Choice: 5800 block of Harpers Farm Road: A pink and white girls' 20-inch 10-speed bike was stolen from a back yard between Sunday and Tuesday, police said.