Local and state police are looking for a man they say kidnapped a woman at knifepoint and sexually assaulted her Tuesday afternoon in an Attleboro parking lot on Starkey Avenue. Those participating in the search, unsuccesful as of 6 p.m., included Norton and Attleboro police officers as well as state police K-9 units and a state police helicopter.
The incident was reported at 1:30 p.m., prompting a three-hour search that took place in a wooded area behind Starkey Avenue and Lindsey Street.
An Attleboro police press release states the 18-year-old woman told authorities she had been walking in an alley near the Municipal Parking Garage on Stanford Street when she was confronted by the suspect, described as a 5-foot, 8-inch to 5-foot, 9-inch white male in his early 20s with a clean-shaven face who was wearing a gray or black hooded sweatshirt.
"She was reportedly taken at knifepoint by the male and forced to drive to the parking lot of a business located on Starkey Avenue," the release states. "Once in the parking lot of the business, the female was reportedly sexually assaulted. She was able to flee her captor and ran toward Pleasant Street where she was assisted by at least one concerned citizen."
Police say fire personnel transported the woman to Sturdy Memorial Hospital, where she was treated and released.
"The victim's vehicle was located in a wooded area behind the business along the commuter rail tracks where the suspect was presumed to have fled," the release states. "A perimeter was set up between Starkey Avenue and Lindsey Street and an extensive search was conducted."
Since officers were on or near the tracks, Amtrak poice assisted at the scene. The trains operated at a reduced speed to avoid an incident, the release states.
Anybody who was in the area of the Municipal Parking Garage or Starkey Avenue during the time of the incident or who may have observed the incident should contact the Attleboro Police Detective Division at 508-222-1212.