Man beats, tries to abduct woman outside her home in Columbia

April 13, 1995|By Ed Heard | Ed Heard,Sun Staff Writer

A 26-year-old woman was beaten by a man who tried to abduct her outside her townhouse in Columbia's Owen Brown Village Tuesday night, Howard County police said.

Her husband heard her screams and broke an upstairs window to scare the attacker away.

County police are trying to determine if the attack is part of a string of crimes blamed on a man who police say assaulted three women in the North Laurel area last week, said Sgt. Steve Keller, a spokesman.

The Columbia victim received a bump and bruises on her forehead and temple. Her husband cut his arm when he punched through the upstairs window of their home on Overheart Lane, police said.

Sergeant Keller said the woman's screams may have saved her from a worse attack.

"Her calling out for assistance prevented what could have been a more serious crime," the spokesman said.

Police did not release the woman's description of her attacker, but planned to have a sketch drawn and compare it to one posted in North Laurel neighborhoods last week, Sergeant Keller said.

One man is believed responsible for attacks in North Laurel on three consecutive days:

* On April 5 at 3:30 a.m., a woman got out of her vehicle in the 9600 block of Barrel House Road, was grabbed from behind, beaten and

dragged to a nearby wooded area where she was raped.

* On April 6, a 25-year-old woman walking to her home in the 9500 block of Canterbury Riding at 3:15 a.m. was pushed to the ground, but the attacker ran when she screamed.

* Last Friday, a man grabbed a 24-year-old woman in the 9600 block of Barrel House Road at 4:10 a.m., but ran when the victim cried for help.

The incidents frightened residents in the Whiskey Bottom and Canterbury Riding communities.

Residents in Owen Brown said they also fear for their safety.

0$ "It's scary," said a neighbor of

Tuesday's victim. "You don't think this would happen in front of your own house."

Shortly after 11 p.m., the woman was walking from her vehicle to her house when a man backed his car into the parking space next to hers and asked about another address, police said.

The woman walked on, and seconds later, the man grabbed her from behind.

The woman tried to shrug him off, but police said he put his hand over her mouth and forced her to the ground.

Police said the man struck her as she screamed.

A neighbor who said she was a

friend of the victim said the woman told her the man asked her to walk toward a nearby wooded area.

Neighbors said they heard screams about 11:15 p.m., as some were watching television news reports of the North Laurel attacks.

Some said they hesitated to react because they thought the noise was ordinary commotion.

"But the screams were different," said the victim's friend, who refused to give her name. She said she and her husband ran outside and heard a car screeching away.

The assailant reportedly drove a red Pontiac Grand Am or Nissan.

Anyone with information should call county police at 313-3700 or the Metro Crime Stoppers Hotline at 276-8888 to qualify for a reward of up to $2,000.

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