Investigators Say Woman Was Punched Repeatedly By Alleged Attacker

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police were questioning a person of interest Tuesday following a violent home invasion in Brooklyn.

The incident happened around 8 p.m. Monday in Williamsburg.

Investigators said a man knocked on the front door of a home on Berry Street. When a 27-year-old woman answered, the man punched her in the head and face and then stormed inside and stole her cellphone and laptop, police said.

Investigators said he may have also tried to sexually assault her, CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown reported.

One neighbor said he saw the suspect walk into the apartment and believes he is the same man he saw last week.

“I saw him casing each building out and I stared at him. He got up he walked away,” said Peter, who only wanted to be identified by his first name. “And that’s when I realized that’s the same guy that was sitting there.”

By the time Peter was able to call police, he said the man had run out again carrying a shopping bag of items.

Within two hours, home invasions were reported nearby on Engert Avenue and on Nassau Avenue, Brown reported.

Police believe all three are connected, although only the first victim was physically assaulted.

News of the alleged attack left many area residents on edge.

“It’s really scary,” said resident Julie Lawrence. “The evening is not a time when I think anyone needs to be worried. It’s very busy around here, lots of restaurants, lots of people walking around so it’s not an issue.”

“I’m just going to have to be much more careful. Like I said, I’m always careful, but it’ll be important to hear what the details are of this particular crime,” Lawrence added.

“That’s quite shocking, I’m quite upset by that,” said resident Jenny Shipton.

“And the time it happened, too, it’s relatively early and the bars out here are all outdoor bars. So for something like this to happen at that time of night is very unusual,” Williamsburg resident Adam Nash told Brown.

The victim in the attack was taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries, police said.

Detectives said there is nothing to indicate the suspect knew any of his victims. It remains unclear why he may have singled out the specific homes.

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