ORLANDO, Fla. - Authorities are searching for a man who attacked a woman as she was entering her apartment Wednesday night near Lake Eola, Orlando police said. Officers said they went to the 400 block of Cathcart Avenue about 8:45 p.m. after neighbors called police when they heard the woman scream. The woman told police she saw a man behind her when she returned to her apartment after walking her dog, authorities said. DOWNLOAD: Free WFTV News & Weather Apps The woman said she thought the man was heading into another apartment but instead he followed behind her and pushed her apartment door open. The woman said he then covered her mouth to prevent her from screaming and attempted to push her into her apartment.
When a neighbor came out of another apartment, the attacker ran, police said.
"It's a community," said Orlando resident Barbara Gaicobe. "You want people to watch out for you. And you know in the times that we're living in, that's important." Tracey Jacobs organizes the neighborhood watch in Lake Eola Heights. "My first reaction was it doesn't surprise me that someone intervened, and thank goodness that they did; that someone was there to assist this young woman who was in great need," Jacobs said. Police released a composite sketch of the attacker. Police said the woman described the man as 6 feet tall, with a beard and wearing a white long-sleeved shirt, basketball shorts and blue slides.
Police said they're reviewing surveillance in the area, including convenience stores after they received a tip that a man matching the suspect's description was seen hanging around a 7- Eleven on Summerlin Avenue.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS.
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