Police investigate downtown assault on woman

Police are investigating the assault of a young woman in downtown Aiken that occurred early Friday morning, according to the Aiken Department of Public Safety.

The incident was reported about 2:50 a.m. near the intersection of Newberry Street and Park Avenue, according to Lt. Karl Odenthal, a spokesman for Aiken Public Safety.

“We're investigating an assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature,” he said.

Odenthal said the 22-year-old female victim was leaving a downtown establishment and was assaulted by a man who was walking behind her. The man reportedly did not have a weapon and used only his hands. The victim was able to go to another establishment to call police.

The victim's medical status was not known, and Odenthal could not comment on the extent of her injuries but said “she was struck in the head.”

The woman was walking alone when the incident occurred, Odenthal said.

“They have been working it all morning, talking with her friends she was there with,” Odenthal said. “It's still pretty fresh in the investigation.”

No witnesses have come forward, and Odenthal said little information about the attacker is available other than he is a white male, between 25 and 35 years of age with brown hair.

No arrests have been made, as of press time on Friday.

“As a rule of thumb, it's always safest to leave with another friend or call for a ride,” Odenthal said, adding that it's a good idea to have your cellphone out in case trouble arises.

Teddy Kulmala covers the crime beat for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since August 2012. He is a native of Williston and majored in communication studies at Clemson University.

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