A woman in a car received facial burns from a powder released by a strange man who came up to her in a grocery store parking lot Tuesday morning.
The incident happened around 9:30 or 10 a.m. in the Big Star parking lot in Eastgate Shopping Center, Assistant Police Chief Marvin Hammond said later in the day.
“An unknown black man approached her car,” he said. “According to her, he had been standing out there as long as she was sitting in her car.”
She told police he was tall and clothed in a Christmas sweater and a trench coat. He asked her to read him a set of directions, and when he opened an envelope, she was exposed to the powder and her face was burned. She drove away. Police were called.
“We have an active investigation,” he said. “We are going to keep looking for him until we find him.”
Hammond said he did not know whether the woman sought medical attention.
“This is the first time something like this has happened,” said Anthony Sanders, the store’s night manager. He said he hopes people out shopping will be “aware of their surroundings, make sure everything is OK.” If it is not, he said, “go and report it to someone.”
Hammond’s warning was similar.
In parking lots and elsewhere, take notice of who and what is nearby, he suggested. “If you see anybody, give us a call.”
•Contact Susan Montgomery at 581-7233 or firstname.lastname@example.org.