Portland police are investigating an attack on a woman who was walking in the city’s West End neighborhood Sunday night, as well as a second incident nearby that could be related.

The assault was reported just after 7 p.m. when police were called to the area of 32 Thomas St. by a 911 caller who reported hearing someone screaming and calling for help. When officers arrived, a 34-year-old Portland woman with facial injuries told them she had been assaulted by a man who had followed her in his car.

“The woman told us that she had been walking on Thomas Street near Carroll Street when she noticed a vehicle following her,” Lt. Robert Martin said in a news release. “The operator opened a passenger side window and asked for directions and then offered her a ride. When she refused, he got out of his car, walked up to her and punched her in the face several times knocking her to the ground.”

Martin said witnesses told police it looked like the man was trying to drag the woman to his car. The man got back into his car and drove away on Carroll Street toward Vaughn Street.

The victim had minor facial injuries and was treated at the scene by Portland emergency medical responders, Martin said. She described the suspect as a Black man in his 30s wearing a dark knit cap and driving a light-colored older Toyota sedan. The victim said he appeared intoxicated and spoke with an accent, Martin said.

About an hour later at 8 p.m., police received a 911 call from a 37-year-old woman who reported a car followed her as she walked on Brackett Street toward Spring Street, also in the West End. She told officers the male driver called to her from an open window to get her attention. She ignored him and took out her cellphone to make a call when he made a U-turn and drove toward Maine Medical Center, Martin said.

In the second incident, the suspect was described as a Black man, approximately 30 to 40 years old, and possibly bald. He was driving a gray or silver Toyota Camry with a Texas paper registration plate, Martin said.

Martin reminded people to be aware of their surroundings, stay in well lit areas and try to walk in groups when possible.

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