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A Boulder woman considered “at risk” because of a previous brain injury was attacked Saturday morning by a man who hit her in the face, took her money and attempted to sexually assault her near a church, police say.

The woman, 35, was walking along Folsom Street just north of Canyon Boulevard about 8 a.m. when a man approached her. The man acted as if he knew the woman, police spokeswoman Sarah Huntley said, but the victim said she didn’t remember him.

The two walked together for a short distance, Huntley said, even stopping at a gas station together so that she could use the restroom. But when they came upon the Unity Church, at 2855 Folsom St., Huntley said the man “lured” her into a secluded area of the church’s community garden.

“He indicated there was some trash in the area and that they should pick it up,” Huntley said.

It was in the thick weeds that the man pushed the woman to the ground, Huntley said, and “indicated that he wanted to engage in sexual activity.”

The woman fought back with her hands, Huntley said, while the man punched her face several times. Despite the blows, the woman continued to struggle until the man “gave up” and left with the victim’s fanny pack.

The suspect was last seen walking on a multi-use path toward Folsom Street. He’s described as a black man with a medium complexion, about 5-feet, 8-inches tall. He is between the ages of 35 and 40 and has short, wavy hair. He was wearing black jeans and is a heavy smoker.

Anyone with details about the incident or the suspect is asked to call Boulder police at 303-441-3333. To remain anonymous, call Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or 800-444-3776.

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