A 32-year-old Portland woman was assaulted after a man followed her through the Old Port early Monday morning, Portland police said.

The woman was walking along Fore Street around 12:30 a.m. when she sensed that someone was following her near the intersection with Silver Street, Lt. Robert Martin said in a written statement.

“Sensing his presence, she became uneasy and started walking faster. The subject also began walking faster and getting closer to her,” Martin said.

When she reached the area near the intersection of Fore and Center streets, the man ran up to her, struck her with a fist, and then ran in the direction of Union Street. The punch knocked the woman to the ground. Paramedics treated the woman for facial injuries at the scene.

Martin said the motive for the assault is not clear.

The attacker is described as being 5 feet 7 inches tall and carrying a backpack.

“Crimes like this are rare in Portland,” Martin said in the release. Martin said people should remain aware of their surroundings, walk in well-lit areas, and walk in groups whenever possible. People should also not hesitate to call 911 if they feel as though their life is in danger.

Martin said the Portland Police Department offers self-defense training for women. Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) training is a self-defense program that offers “realistic” options for people who find themselves in situations where they could be in danger.

For more information about the R.A.D. program, women should contact (207) 874-8643 or [email protected]

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