GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) - A video has been released in the case where Gastonia Police are asking for the public’s help identifying a man who broke into an apartment and sexually assaulted a woman.
The incident happened around 11 p.m. on January 2, at an apartment on the 1500 block of East Hudson Boulevard. Police said the attacker, described as a black male dressed in dark clothing and wearing a black toboggan, got into the apartment through an unlocked sliding glass door.
The video was taken at Quail Woods Apartments, which is just a couple of blocks away from Georgetown Woods Apartments.
The subject was seen checking a patio sliding glass door and front window at around 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 6.
Investigators have not revealed many details about the break-in or attack, but released a sketch of the suspect on Jan. 8 in hopes someone would recognize him.
Police are advising residents with sliding glass doors to use a Charlie Bar or another sliding glass door security, and to report any suspicious people or prowlers to police immediately at 704-866-3300.
Police are asking anyone who can identify the person in the sketch to call 704-866-6880.
“This type of case makes you think that he’s gonna do it again if he’s not taken into custody pretty soon and we don’t want that to happen,” said Donna Lahser, communications manager for the Gastonia Police Department.
Elizabeth Woodard, a neighbor living in the complex where the alleged attack happened, said she thinks she may have heard the incident take place. She thinks the woman living below her may have been the victim.
“I heard her screaming down there and then my daughter looked out the window and there was three or four cops with the dog looking in the trees and then they went down the trail," recalled Woodard.
Dorothy Gourdine, another neighbor in the complex, said she was surprised to hear about the alleged incident. She said that she and her husband have lived in the community for six years and no serious crime has occurred.
“It surprised me that anything like that would have gone on here. It’s always been a safe community. People are friendly. We speak to each other," said Gourdine.
Anyone who can possibly identify this subject is asked to call detectives at 704-836-0041. Callers may remain anonymous if needed.