Police have released a sketch of the man they believe is responsible for the violent home invasion rape and robbery that shocked a Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood Tuesday.
“It makes me nervous for my kids and you just never know who's watching you,” said Marcie Galanti who lives on the block where the home invasion happened.
A man wielding a semi-automatic handgun forced his way into a house on the 3200 block of Lester Road Tuesday around 2:30 p.m. Once inside the man allegedly bound, gagged and sexually assaulted a 39-year-old woman who was home alone, police said.
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He stole about $8,000 in cash, cameras and three laptops.
Neighbors helped the woman after she ran out of the home still tied up, partially clothed.
Stanley Puchalski a retired police officer who lives next door said his wife saw the attacker leaving from the back of the house.
“All of a sudden she seen a fellow jump over the fence, carrying a backpack, running,” Puchalski said. “She yelled to me and by the time I got in the yard he was gone."
Police described the attacker as a 6-foot-2 black male in his 30s weighing about 200 to 230 pounds with a thin mustache. He was wearing black glasses, all-black clothing, black and grey knit cap and carrying a black Jansport backpack.
The woman’s family runs a nail salon, according to neighbors. They work six days a week but Tuesday was their day off.
Her husband was actually home but left a short time before the attack, neighbors said. He didn’t want to speak on camera, but told us his wife is in the hospital and this is a very sad time for their family.
Police are investigating whether the family was targeted and are working with the description of the alleged suspect.
In the meantime neighbors are left wondering how this happened in quiet neighborhood during the day.
"I just don't know how -- with all these people home during the day -- how someone could walk into someone's home and do what they did," said neighbor Dawn Smith.