NORTH COLLEGE HILL, Ohio - A North College Hill woman had the scare of her life two weeks ago. She woke up in the middle of the night to find a burglar in her home.
Maria Viola says the encounter left her bruised. But she says the burglar has bruises too.
"3 o'clock in the morning I heard this really loud bang noise," said Viola. "I thought one of my cats had just knocked something really big over. I jumped out of bed, went to the kitchen."
That's when she saw the burglar standing in her kitchen. She described him as a young man, possibly a teenager, 5' 7" and 170 lbs.
"I just yelled, 'Hey!' as loud as I could and he grabbed the bag and ran out the door and I just ran out after him," she said.
Viola says he dropped the bag and when she tried to pick it up, he came after her.
"He was trying to get the bag from me, like pulling on it saying give me your purse," she said. "And, I was able to pull it back a little and step back and then he actually came back at me and started punching me."
Viola still has bruises on her arms and legs from the punches and being slammed to the ground, but she's sure the burglar has bruises too.
"I took the bag and actually started hitting him with it as hard as I could. Between the screaming and me fighting back, he ended up fleeing," she said.
Fortunately, police patrolling a shopping center across the street heard her screams and got to the house quickly. But, the burglar got away. Police hope the sketch will bring in tips to Crime Stoppers.
Sergeant Ryan Schrand with North College Hill police said tips could solve the case.
"Often your neighbors and other folks watching out for your neighborhood are the key to some of this and stopping some of these burglaries and robberies," said Sgt. Schrand.
Viola said the incident has shaken her sense of safety at home.
"It's just a terrible feeling to not feel safe in your own home," she said.
However, she says when she confronted the burglar she just reacted. And he didn't get her bag, which was filled with files and papers from work.
"Actually he's probably really upset because he got nothing and he got beat up by a girl," she said.
If you have any information on this case, please call Crime Stoppers at (513) 352-3040.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Top Central Stories
A monthly celebration of local craft breweries is affording beer connoisseurs a chance to delight in hop-infused beverages all summer long.