Portland police seek suspect in Back Cove sexual assault

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PORTLAND — Police are seeking a white male suspect in an alleged sexual assault reported Wednesday afternoon on the Back Cove Trail.

Assistant Police Chief Vern Malloch said a 34-year-old woman was dragged from the path around 12:15 p.m. near its 1/2-mile marker, beyond the athletic fields. The woman was taken into high grass and brush adjacent to Interstate 295 where she was sexually assaulted, he said.

The suspect fled on foot after two people passing by asked what was going on, according to Malloch. The victim then drove herself to the hospital, where police were called.

The suspect is described as between 6 feet 1 inch and 6 feet 3 inches tall, with an average build, and was wearing shiny orange shorts and a dark tank-top shirt.

Malloch said police will increase patrols in the area, including on bicycle, and reminded people using the trail to carry cell phones, to try and use the trail in groups, and to be vocal and draw attention if confronted by anyone.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call police at 874-8575. Tips can also be emailed to portland-police.com or texted anonymously to 274637, using the keyword “GOTCHA.”