Intruder cuts woman in struggle

Wiltondale resident attacked at her home after unloading groceries

April 27, 2002|By Gerard Shields | Gerard Shields,SUN STAFF

A 50-year-old woman was attacked and cut on the hand after she unloaded groceries into her home yesterday morning in a Towson neighborhood.

The incident occurred about 10:45 a.m. in the 500 block of Sussex Road in the Wiltondale section of Towson, police said.

A man with a knife entered the home near York Road shortly after the woman unloaded the groceries, police said.

A struggle between the two ended with the victim suffering a cut on her hand, police said. The suspect fled the home and was seen leaving in a small, older-model maroon sedan, police said.

The woman, whom police did not identify, was taken to Greater Baltimore Medical Center, where she was treated for the wound.

A neighbor, who declined to give her name out of fear for her safety, said the victim saw the suspect following her home from the grocery store. Once in her house, the victim had tried to alert neighbors about the man's presence when she was attacked.

"She was on the phone with one of the neighbors when he came up behind her," said the woman, who lives in the same block. "She began yelling `Get out of here, get out of here.'"

Bill Toohey, spokesman for county police, said anyone who thinks he or she is being followed should drive to the nearest police station or to a pay phone in a busy spot.

Anyone with a cell phone, he said, should call 911.

Police described the assailant as 20 to 30 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 160 pounds. Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call police at 410-307-2020.

The incident jarred Wiltondale. Harry R. Cook, a 30-year resident of the area, heard about the assault from a neighbor when he returned home from a senior center.

"In my 30 years of living here, I never heard of anything like this," Cook said. "It's a shame. It seems like it can happen anywhere."

Kristie Burkett, 34, said neighbors quickly organized to alert each other of attacks. E-mails were sent to neighbors, and the neighborhood patrol will be stepped up, she said.

"I think it's made us feel shaken up, but you're never immune to it," Burkett said. "We're a close-knit neighborhood, and everybody rallied around to help."

Holly Michael, 37, who moved to Wiltondale three years ago from North Carolina, said the neighborhood has many stay-at-home mothers and residents who work at home and feel safe leaving their doors unlocked.

"Actually, my husband and I are going out for locks on the windows," Michael said. "I'm not going to bed tonight without locks on my window."

Sun staff writer Maria Blackburn contributed to this article.

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