PORTLAND, Maine — A 32-year-old Portland woman was assaulted after being followed through the Old Port on Monday, January 13.
Portland police said they have identified the suspect as Aaron Royal, 38. They said he is originally from South Carolina and is currently homeless.
Royal has now been summoned to court for assault, a class D crime. Portland police said they received several surveillance videos that helped them identify Royal as a suspect.
According to Portland Police, the woman was walking on Fore Street around 12:30 a.m. when she sensed a person was following her as she walked past Silver Street.
Sensing his presence, she became uneasy and started walking faster. The subject also began walking faster and getting closer to her, according to police.
As the woman reached the area of Fore and Center Streets, the assailant ran up to her, struck her with a closed fist knocking her to the ground, and then fled on foot back toward Union Street. There is no known motive for this assault.
Police originally described the male as 5’7” tall and wearing a backpack.
The victim had facial injuries that were treated by paramedics.
Police want to remind everyone to always be aware of your surroundings, stay in well lit areas, and try to walk in groups when possible.
The Portland Police Department regularly offers self-defense training for anyone interested. The program, Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) is a self-defense program geared toward realistic options for anyone involved in these types of surprise, violent attacks.
The courses includes lecture, discussion and self defense techniques, suitable for women and men of all ages and abilities. RAD has self defense training geared to both women and men.