Portland police are investigating the robbery, assault and attempted sexual assault of a 23-year-old Portland woman early Sunday morning in the city’s West End.

The attack occurred around 12:30 a.m. on Clark Street near Pine Street when the victim, who was walking alone, was approached from behind by a man who dragged her into an alley, where she was assaulted, police said.

The man ordered the victim to remove her clothing, but after a few minutes he ran off, stealing the woman’s purse. It’s not clear why he fled, police said. The victim then called police.

She suffered injuries to her face, neck and arms but did not require hospitalization.

Police described the assailant as a Hispanic or light-skinned black man, about 6 feet tall with a medium build and very short dark hair, wearing a baseball cap.

Police are asking anyone who may have seen the woman being followed as she walked from State Street, down Pine Street, to Clark Street to call 874-8533.

Police are also trying to talk with a man who found the victim’s purse in the neighborhood.

Police have increased patrols in the area and people are being advised to travel in well lighted areas, seek protection from open businesses or other people, and call 911 if they believe they are being followed.

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