Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2007

Woman fights off would-be rapist

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A 29-year-old Silver Spring woman used pepper spray to drive off a man who intended to rape her, according to Montgomery County Police.

The woman was entering her car 3:45 a.m. Sunday in the 11700 block of Old Columbia Pike when she was attacked. She fought back and eventually sprayed the attacker, who let go of the woman.

The man was white, 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed between 150 and 160 pounds. He wore a black hooded sweatshirt.

Police said while it is legal for adults to carry pepper spray or the chemical Mace, it is illegal to use them criminally or for juveniles to carry them.

If you have information about the attack, call police at 240-773-5070 or 301-279-8000.

Documents found in trash bin; officials investigating

Police on Friday recovered research files with personal information from a Silver Spring military research facility from a trash bin in Wheaton, but the boxes in which the files were contained were unopened.

The files, from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, had been ordered to be shredded, according to a news release from Montgomery County Police, who were called after a resident alerted them about the boxes in the 3300 block of Weeping Willow Court.

Debra Yorick, the institute’s associate director, said a staff error led to the files not being shredded and that the institute is investigating how to prevent a similar incident in the future.

All of the files were accounted for upon their return, reviewed and found to be uncompromised, Yorick said.

Detectives said the bin was emptied Thursday and the boxes must have been placed there Friday morning. A ‘‘good Samaritan” watched the boxes until they could be retrieved, Yorick said. No charges will be filed by police, who determined there was no criminal intent.