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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Home invasion suspect eludes neighbors in Northborough

NORTHBOROUGH

A man who pistol-whipped a Northborough woman in her apartment Sunday evening eluded pursuing neighbors by posing as a bystander offering to help, Northborough police said.

The unidentified woman escaped with only bruises and scrapes to her face after her screams scared away her attacker, Detective Sergeant William Lyver said.

Sometime before 8:40 p.m., woman first saw the man in the parking lot of her apartment complex. They exchanged words about the weather and he followed her inside the front door of the building, The Residence at the Falls at 200 Hudson St., police said.

The man then followed the victim into her apartment while she carried packages to a kitchen counter, police said.

‘‘She turned around to shut the door and he was there. He reached forward to grab her by the face and neck,’’ Lyver said. ‘‘She screamed, he disengaged, and she was knocked to the kitchen floor.’’

The man ran out of the apartment and was followed by two male neighbors. Posing as a bystander, the attacker pretended to help by claiming the man jumped over a fence and into the river. The man then did just that as the shocked neighbors looked on, the neighbors told police.

Police said neighbors’s description of the man matched the victim’s description of her attacker. A 9mm plastic pellet gun with an orange tip was found near the fence.

The victim described the man as between 22 and 25 years old, 5 foot 9 inches tall and weighing 150 to 160 pounds. He has a narrow face with a scraggly goatee and long unkempt hair and was wearing a blue denim jacket. She had never seen him before.

Police are still searching for the suspect and a $500 reward has been offered for information leading to his arrest and conviction. Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call Northborough police at 508-393-1515.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

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