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Another laptop related assault at Newton Free Library

Posted by Laura Gomez  March 7, 2013 10:15 AM

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Newton police said a 25-year-old man was punched in the face and head at the Newton Free Library Wednesday morning by a man who was trying to steal his laptop computer.

The alleged assault is the second one in the past two months involving a laptop at the library.

Library Director Philip McNulty said the incidents have cause the library to consider putting in surveillance cameras to be able to aid police in identifying suspects.

"We are investigating the possibility of updating our security systems,” McNulty said.

The alleged assault Wednesday happened around 11:30, when the victim left a study room on the second floor to use the restroom. When he returned he noticed a man was leaving the room and his computer missing.

The victim chased after the suspect and held on to the suspect's jacket as he demanded his laptop back. He received several punches in the face and head, according to a police report.

"The suspect eventually let go of the laptop, (which was damaged in the struggle) and fled the area on foot," according o the police report.

The suspect is described as a black male, about 5 feet 7, between 20-30 years old, a large build, short brown hair, clean shaven, wearing a dark jacket with some green color on the shoulders, a dark ball cap, blue jeans and a black backpack.

Police are still investigating the alleged assault.

A similar incident occurred on January 10 at the library when a 65-year-old male was pushed from behind by an unknown suspect who took the victim's shoulder computer bag and laptop. Police later found the victim's bag in Central Square, Cambridge, but the laptop was missing.

That suspect was described as a black male, 6’ tall, 20-30 years of age, and wearing a dark gray thigh length winter coat with a fur collar, red baseball hat with a sports logo

No arrest has been made in the theft.

“We are looking to see if both incidents are related,” said Lieutenant Bruce Apotheker. “But it is still under investigation at this time.”

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