Man touching, grabbing women on paths in Howard Co., police say

Howard County police are looking for a man they say has been inappropriately touching women on public pathways.

In the last three weeks, police say, a man has touched or grabbed at least three women who were walking or jogging in Columbia.

The first incident happened on Aug. 7, when a woman jogging on a footpath off Old Montgomery Road reported that a man ran up behind her, grabbed her inappropriately and fled.

Two days later, on Aug. 9, a woman who was jogging on a footpath near Majors Lane reported that a man ran by and touched her inappropriately as he passed her.

In the most recent incident, on Sunday, a woman who was walking in the area of Oakland Mills Road near Dobbin Road told police that a man talking on a cellphone approached her, touched her inappropriately and ran off, police said.

In all three incidents, the attacker was described as a black man in his 20s or 30s, with short hair, a clean-shaven face, and a medium build, about 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, police said. The man wore different clothes in each case, police said, including a dark T-shirt and shorts that appeared to be running clothes, and a white polo-style shirt with trim, police said.

Police noted that there was an unrelated touching incident on Aug. 15 in which a woman running on the Patuxent Branch Trail near Iron Bridge Road in Jessup was approached by a male teenager who grabbed her arm. She pulled away, and the teen ran off. He is described as a white boy, about 16 years old, with blonde hair and wearing a gray T-shirt, khaki shorts and gray Nike shoes.

Authorities believe there are other victims of similar incidents who have not reported them to police. Anyone with information can call 410-313-2200.

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