PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Police are investigating a home invasion and sexual assault that took place in the city’s Lawncrest section. Police say the suspect tied up two people and sexually assaulted a woman.
The victim says that the suspect threatened her with a gun.
Police are searching for the suspect and working on a possible motive. One of the men inside the home at the time told Eyewitness News that he woke up to the sound of his daughter crying. He then learned that man broke into his home through the basement door, put a gun to her head and sexually assaulted her.
The father spoke exclusively with Eyewitness News about what he witnessed. He asked not to be identified.
“I woke up to hear my daughter crying,” he said. “I said what’s going on. She said a man just put a gun to my head.” After learning that his daughter had just been sexually assaulted at gunpoint, he then ran through the house and down into the basement.
“All I hear is this moaning and that’s when I look around and I see my brother-in-law. He’s tied up in the front of the basement.” Family members say the intruder displayed a silver gun. The man and his family just moved the street four months ago. Now, they are forced to continue their lives on the block with a new degree of fear.
“I’m not crazy about the area as is, but we have to do what we have to do for right now.”
Authorities say there were at least five people inside the home on Mebus Street at the time, around 4:00 a.m.
The resident we spoke with said that when he ran down to the basement, he found his sister and brother-in-law tied up and gagged. He ran out of the basement door, after the suspect, but could not track him down.
Police say the man was tall, wearing a dark sweatshirt with the hood up and a mask.
Another neighbor on the block said a masked man matching that description attempted to enter into her home on Tuesday morning as well, before being chased off.
Another woman tells us they’ve seen a similar person lurking around the neighborhood for some time. She says they have reported him, but nothing ever came of it. She is now desperate for increased safety.
“I’m either going to put my house up for sale, I’ve been living here for 39 years, or I’m going to get another pit-bull,” said Danielle Balderman. “And, I don’t want a gun in the house because I have kids.”
Police are still looking for this suspect. Anyone with information is asked to come forward.