A 26-year-old Seattle woman said Monday she fought a man who ran away after he attacked her from behind during a run early Saturday.

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A 26-year-old woman was attacked from behind and knocked to the ground early Saturday in Fremont but managed to fight off the man who grabbed her, according to Seattle police.

The woman said in a Monday phone interview that she got home from work late Friday and decided to go for a run at 1 a.m. because she couldn’t sleep.

“It’s always been a safe neighborhood,” said the woman, who thought there would be plenty of people around since the bars in the area weren’t closing for another hour.

The Seattle Times does not typically identify victims of sex-related crimes.

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The woman said she was running toward the heart of Fremont and was about four blocks from her apartment when she saw a man across the street walking in the opposite direction. She said he immediately turned and started following her, and she looped around the block toward Aurora Avenue North to try to lose him.

As she got to the corner of North 42nd Street and Linden Avenue North, the woman said, the man attacked her from behind and slammed her to the sidewalk. He tried to pull her pants down and grabbed her left thigh, she said.

The woman said she screamed hysterically and elbowed the man in the face while he was on top of her. He slammed her head into the concrete, causing her to lose consciousness for a few seconds, she said.

“I was making a lot of noise and I know I got him in the face a couple times pretty good,” the woman said. “I don’t know what scared him away, but I’m glad it did.”

When she came to, the woman said she found her cellphone in the grass and called 911.

Though she considers herself athletic and has trained in martial arts and self-defense, the woman said she’ll never run alone again so late at night.

“I wish I wouldn’t have done it, but I did,” she said.

According to Seattle police, an extensive area search was conducted, but officers were unable to find a suspect. The woman suffered a concussion and abrasions to her head, knees and inner thigh.

The man, who was wearing a dark sweatshirt with the hood up, is described as olive-skinned, clean shaved, in his late 20s to early 30s, about 200 pounds and 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall.

The woman said she plans to meet with a detective and a sketch artist Tuesday.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Seattle police Sexual Assault Unit at 206-684-5575.

Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or sgreen@seattletimes.com

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