Courageous Victim Takes Knife From Attacker, Suffers Lacerations In Process

RYE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — An elderly woman, who was attacked by an armed intruder inside her home in Westchester County, fought off and disarmed the suspect who did it, authorities said.

Monday afternoon, police released a surveillance picture of the alleged intruder, who is seen dressed in dark clothing making an effort to hide his face from the security camera in a parking garage.

The suspect crossed the spacious lawn at the exclusive at the Osborn Retirement Community in Rye moments before the attack, CBS 2’s Lou Young reported.

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams On The Story

Security officials at the Osborn Retirement Community had called police around 2 a.m. Monday for a report of a suspicious man on the grounds.

While police were on the scene, a 72-year-old resident called 911 and said she had been assaulted by a knife-wielding man inside her fourth-floor apartment, police said.

However, the home invader apparently left the way he came in — on foot, perhaps for a waiting car.  He left a tool bag behind when he ran. It doesn’t appear as if he stole anything because authorities don’t think he had the time.

“Apparently the woman was able to take the knife from him, she was able to disarm him. Somebody said to me of all the residents to pick at this place, this guy picked the wrong one,” said Commissioner William Connors, of the Rye Police Department.

“Good for her,” said Rye resident Teresa Vilitaliano. “For a 72-year-old to stick up for herself. I think that’s very good.”

“He just messed with the wrong old lady!” said resident J.J. McCray.

The intrusion is still quite a shock because crime is almost unheard of in the enclave of wealthy retirement. The victim also paid a heavy price for her bravery.

“Both her eyes were swollen shut. She had some lacerations to the face and head. There was some blood around the apartment. It appeared to be a pretty significant struggle,” Rye Police Commissioner William Connors told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams.

rye home invasion Police: Man Breaks Into Rye Retirement Community, Attacks Elderly Woman

Photo of person entering the building shortly before a home invasion/assault at The Osborn. (credit: RYE PD)

The woman has been treated and released from the hospital. The intruder fled the scene but left behind a bag with a suspicious device that looked like a pipe bomb, police said.

The bomb squad determined the device, described as a cylinder, was not explosive, Young reported.

1010 WINS’ Al Jones reports

Police suspect the woman might have been targeted.

“It’s highly unusual for something like this to happen in that facility,” Connors said.

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