Portland police have charged a 38-year-old man with the random attack of a woman while she was walking in the Old Port Monday.

Aaron Royal, who is described as homeless and originally from South Carolina, is charged with assault, a misdemeanor.

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, police said after the attack.

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

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.

The motive for the attack is unknown, police said.

The Portland Police Department said such a random attack is rare in Portland, but reminded residents that it 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, contact (207) 874-8643 or [email protected]

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