Police seek man involved in assault, car theft

Thursday, November 15, 2007 | 11:20 p.m. CST; updated 11:08 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

Police are looking for a man who they say assaulted a woman and then stole another man’s SUV Thursday afternoon in a northeast Columbia neighborhood.

Police say that between 5:21 and 5:26 p.m. Thursday near 1100 Woodland Springs Court, a white male suspect physically struck and choked a 33-year-old woman, fled the scene, then grabbed the car keys out of the hands of a 25-year-old man near 3200 Penn Terrace and stole his Ford Explorer after a brief struggle.

The suspect was described as a white man in his late 30s to early 40s, between 6-foot and 6 feet 2 inches tall, with a muscular build. He was last seen wearing a blue jacket and blue jeans, police said.

The female victim told police that the suspect approached her, asked for directions and then began hitting her in the face and choking her. One of the victim’s friends approached, causing the man to run away in a northbound direction.

The woman sustained bruises and lacerations to the face and neck and was treated by medics at the scene.

The suspect then approached a man standing near his vehicle at a Penn Terrace home, stole his keys and drove off in the victim’s car after a brief fight.

The stolen vehicle — a white 2003 Ford Explorer with Missouri license plates — was abandoned in Callaway County, police said. The suspect was not found.

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