Tempe woman wakes up to find intruder touching her; police seek suspect


by Jennifer Thomas

Video report by Natalie Brand

Posted on March 28, 2014 at 9:16 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 1 at 11:22 AM

Map: Burglary/sex abuse

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- Tempe police are asking for the public's help to identify a suspect in a burglary/sexual abuse case.

Sgt. Michael Pooley said the 19-year-old victim was sleeping in her bedroom in her apartment near Mill Avenue and Fifth Street at approximately 4:30 a.m. Thursday when she was awakened by a man touching her vaginal area.

The woman was able to chase him out of the apartment.

Pooley said the victim did not know the suspect. The victim's roommate was also home but did not see him. Detectives believe the suspect walked in through an unlocked door.

"I would freak out. I wouldn't even know what to do in that situation," said Beth Polley who lives in the same area.

She and other neighbors plan to be extra vigilant in light of the attack.

"Keep your eye out and make sure your doors are locked before you go to bed," Polley advised.

Police say they're taking the case very seriously and want to get the suspect off the streets as quickly as possible.

The suspect is described as a white male, 6 feet tall with a heavy build and short brown hair. He was last seen wearing a black shirt, black pants and eyeglasses.

Anyone with information about the identity or whereabouts of the suspect is urged to contact the Tempe Police Department at 480-858-6087.