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A man who attempted to sexually assault a 65-year-old Tipton Lakes woman while she was baby-sitting an infant in her home is still at large, police said.
The attack in the 1300 block of Blackhawk Drive on the neighborhood’s south side was reported shortly after 11 a.m. Thursday, Columbus Police Department spokesman Lt. Matt Myers said.
The suspect showed up at the woman’s door and claimed to be an independent landscaper seeking work, Myers said. Since the woman could speak little English, she called her son and handed the telephone to the suspect while he was still on the porch, Myers said.
Once he finished talking to her son, who told the man he didn’t want any landscaping done, the suspect pointed to the bathroom and went in before he walked out with the phone still in his hand, Myers said.
After he opened his arms as if seeking permission for a hug and the woman motioned ‘no’, the suspect put the phone into his pocket, grabbed the victim and struggled with her before he threw her on a couch, Myers said.
As he held the woman down by the throat, she screamed — which prompted the assailant to cover her mouth as he attempted to remove her clothing, Myers said.
But the woman managed to bite the man’s hand with enough force to penetrate the skin, Myers said.
After he jumped up, the suspect and victim briefly struggled over control of a telephone he had in his pocked until he fled the house, Myers said.
The attacker was seen fleeing the area in a silver-colored sedan-style car, but investigators were unable to get a more detailed description of the suspect’s vehicle, Myers said.
The suspect had a dark complexion and was described as mid- to late 20s, about 5-foot-8 with a medium built, brown hair and a goatee, Myers said.
Last seen wearing a green shirt and blue jeans, the suspect has two flower tattoos near one of his wrists and should have a bite wound on one of his hands between the thumb and index finger, Myers said.
The woman was not injured and did not require medical attention, Myers said.
Investigating officers Julie Quesenbery and Greg Ross searched the area and talked with neighbors but were unable to locate the suspect, Myers said.
Detectives, who are not sure if the victim was targeted or chosen at random, remained at the scene well into Thursday afternoon processing evidence, he said.
Anyone with information regarding the suspect or his whereabouts is urged to contact Detective Tom Foust with the Columbus Police Department at 376-2621.
What you should do
If solicitors come to your home, don’t let them in the house, Columbus Police spokesman Lt. Matt Myers said.
This is especially important if the stranger at your door is driving a privately owned vehicle, not wearing a uniform and is unable to provide proper identification, he said.
While denying entrance may not have prevented Thursday’s attack in Tipton Lakes, solicitors inside a home can assess the types and locations of valuables, as well as discover whether anyone else is at home, Myers said.
“It’s best to either keep them out on the porch or don’t answer the door,” Myers said.
By law, solicitors in Columbus are required to register with the police department and show the form, which bears the name of Columbus Police Chief Jason Maddix, to any homeowner or tenant who requests it, Myers said.
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