In a part of DeKalb County where at least three women were raped by an unknown assailant last year, a man broke into a woman's home last week, bashed her on the head with a gun and fondled her breast, police are reporting.
The 59-year-old woman, whose identity was withheld by police because she's been categorized as a victim of sexual assault, lives in the vicinity of Hambrick Road, near Stone Mountain. That's the same area where the rapes of three women last fall caused a stir in the community and led to a meeting between residents and police.
"At this point, our detectives have not linked it to those other sexual assaults," said Mekka Parish, a spokesperson for the DeKalb County Police Department. "They're investigating it, but at this point, they haven't made any connections."
This latest attack occurred around 11 p.m. on Jan. 19. The assailant forced open the door of the woman's apartment and cornered her in the bedroom, the police report of the incident says. When she tried to run into a closet, he hit her on the head with a gun, the woman told police, adding that when she screamed, he put the gun in her mouth and threatened to kill her.
"The suspect then told her to remove her clothing. When she didn't, he pulled and threw her onto the bed," the police report said. He then pulled her shirt over her head, "told her not to look at him" and fondled her.
The man fled after taking her car keys and two rings off her fingers.
When police arrived, they noted blood pouring from the woman's head, and she was taken to a hospital.
The rapes last fall prompted police to call a community meeting in December. They disclosed the attacks and asked for help, but Parish said that so far the identity of the attacker in those earlier cases remains a mystery.
"There haven't been any clear descriptions of him," she said. She said evidence indicates that one man committed all three of those rapes and police are looking at the possibility that he has attacked other women.
She said the attacks around Hambrick Road seem to have been perpetrated by a different assailant than the one who preyed on women at MARTA bus stops further south in DeKalb earlier last year.
The man who attacked four females around Rainbow Drive and Wesley Chapel Road also remains at large, Parish said.