A 22-year-old Portland woman was assaulted while walking on Brackett Street near Pine Street Thursday night around 8 p.m.

The woman was able to fight off her attacker by screaming, striking him and using pepper spray. The man eventually ran away. Bystanders came to the woman’s aid and one man chased the attacker to Winter Street before losing sight of him.

The woman told police she initially noticed she was being following for several blocks and became concerned when she saw that her follower was getting closer. She walked faster but the man struck and grabbed her as she was crossing the street. She was not injured.

The suspect is described as a white male, between 20 to 30 years old, standing 5-foot-10 to 6 feet tall, with pale skin. He was cleanshaven and chubby, and wore dark clothing, a blue jacket and a beanie hat, and carried a messenger bag and an object that looked like an umbrella.

Police credited the woman’s actions with preventing a more serious attack: She was aware of her surroundings, she took action to separate herself from her attacker, she was prepared to defend herself and she immediately called out for help.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Portland Police Department at (207) 874-8575.

The Portland Police Department offers rape aggression defense classes to the public, geared toward offering options for women in such attacks. For more information, call (207) 874-8643 or email: [email protected]