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The element of surprise!

Police: Woman Uses Pepper Spray to Fend Off Attacker

Posted: Jan 09, 2012 1:41 PM CST Updated: Jan 24, 2012 6:58 AM CST

By Kye Parsons

SALISBURY, Md.- Authorities say a woman used pepper spray to defend herself against a man who allegedly attacked her outside her Salisbury home.

At around 12:23 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 8, Salisbury police officers responded to the 700 block of Roger Street where they met with a woman who stated she had been attacked from behind in her driveway by a male suspect wearing a black hooded jacket and blue jeans. According to police, the victim stated that she sprayed her attacker with pepper spray that she keeps for personal defense.

Investigators said the information the victim provided was relayed to responding units and officers and K-9 "Miso" searched the neighborhood. According to police, a suspect was located on the 300 block of Prince Street, a short distance from where the assault is allegedly occurred.

Police said the suspect, later identified as 19-year-old Brian Stewart Harcum Jr. of Salisbury, was wearing clothing matching the description of the woman's attacker. Police also noted that Harcum had tears in his eyes and mucus coming from his nose, which is indicative of the effects of pepper spray.

Harcum was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree assault, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. He is being held in the Wicomico County Detention Center in lieu of $25,000 bond.

The victim was not injured in the assault, police said.

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