Police searching for man who sexually assaulted senior citizen

(WISH Photo, file)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — Police in Bloomington are searching for a suspect in the sexual assault of a 73-year-old woman.

The Bloomington Police Department said that the assault happened in an apartment on the south side of Bloomington in the early morning hours of Sunday. Police wouldn’t give an exact address or location of the crime in order to protect the victim’s privacy.

The victim said she woke up to a man standing over her with his hand over her mouth and an arm across her throat.

She said he sexually assaulted her in her living room and in her bedroom.

In her bedroom, she was able to hit a button on an alert system that started beeping, scaring the suspect off.

“That is in fact what stopped the assault and caused the individual to flee,” said Cpt. Joe Qualters, Bloomington Police Department. “So in retrospect that was an excellent decision on her part try to use that.”

After the alert was sounded, police arrived at her apartment within five minutes.

The device is similar to other at-home alert systems found at Williams Brothers Pharmacy in Bloomington. The devices can make a call for help using a speaker phone.

Police said it’s possible the victim’s apartment sliding door was not closed, but the victim said she thought she had locked everything.

She was taken to a local hospital. BPD said she did not suffer any serious injuries.

No one else was in the apartment at the time of the sexual assault. It is not believed that the suspect had a weapon.

Police said they’ve collected some evidence inside the apartment and plan to check surveillance cameras in the area. Patrols will also be increased nearby.

In the meantime, they’re asking people to remember to keep doors and windows locked.

“If it can save anybody from being harmed or more specifically a (73) year old lady being sexually assaulted I think I’m all for it,” said Brian Ladyman who lives in an apartment on the south side.

BPD said the suspect is a light-skinned black male in his mid-twenties. He is described as having short, buzzed hair. He was believed to be wearing a red and white shirt with horizontal blue stripes, gray pants or shorts and white canvas shoes.

BPD said extra patrols will be in the area while searching for the suspect.

Anyone with information can reach the Bloomington Police Department at 812-339-4477.

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