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No Charges Filed After A Woman Was Struck Along Clarksville Path, Police Say

CLARKSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) -- Howard County Police say they have identified the person responsible for striking an Asian woman in the face while she was walking along a path in Clarksville on March 22.

The parents of a 20-year-old man with a developmental disability brought him to the police station to report that they believed their son may have been involved.

The woman told police that an unknown man jogged up behind her around 7:30 a.m. and struck her in the face, apologizing as he passed. She told police she'd seen the man before on her walks and thought he may have had a disability.

She did not require medical attention.

After investigating the incident, police and the state's attorney's office determined they would not be filing criminal charges in the case. Authorities are working with both families to address concerns.

This incident happened as attacks against Asian American Pacific Islanders have been increasing around the country.

Original Post -- March 23, 4 p.m.: An Asian woman was assaulted while she was walking along a path in Howard County Monday morning, police said.

According to Howard County Police, the woman in her 50s was struck in the face by an unknown assailant while she was walking on a path near Indian Summer Drive and Summer Sky Path in Clarksville around 7:30 a.m.

The unknown man jogged up behind her, struck her in the face as he passed. That caused her glasses to fall off and left a mark on her face. She said as the man ran away, he repeatedly stated, " "I'm sorry I punched you."

"She heard someone jogging up behind her and that as he passed her he struck her in the face and then immediately said repeatedly, 'I'm sorry for punching you,'" Sherry Llewelyn, of the Howard County Police Department, said.

The victim contacted police around 3 p.m. to report the incident. She did not require medical attention.

The woman told police the suspect was a man in his 20s. She does see him in the area when she walks and said he may have a developmental disability. At this time, police cannot say what the man's intentions were.

"She believes she recognizes the young man is someone who is in her community and she also believes that he might have developmental delays, so we are looking into all possibilities trying to ID him now," Llewelyn said.

Gov. Larry Hogan and First Lady Yumi Hogan visited two Asian American communities Monday to condemn attacks on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

"Sadly our country is being torn apart by those who seek to divide and separate us solely based on our identities," Hogan said.

"As the Asian first lady in Maryland and first-generation immigrant- my heart is broken for victims of hate crimes," said First Lady Yumi Hogan.

Gov. Hogan said awareness bulletins have been issued to help ensure the safety of Asian-owned businesses against further attacks. He's urging anyone who is the victim or has witnessed a hate crime to please come forward.

The state's hate crime hotline is 1-866-481-8361.

Howard County Police have also reclassified several robberies of AAPI businesses in Howard County in February as hate bias incidents.

Last week, a man opened fire on three spas in the Atlanta area killed eight people. Since then, many AAPI communities have been concerned about being attacked.

Police are increasing patrols in the area in the search for the suspect. Anyone with information should call police at 410-313-3200.

Editor's Note: This story was originally published on March 23. We updated the story on April 2. 

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