Granny bites intruder, stops sexual assault

An elderly babysitter is being praised after she fought off an intruder who allegedly sexually assaulted a young girl as she slept in bed. The assault, which Special Victims investigators are calling "particularly disturbing," happened early Sunday morning at a home along the 1400 block of Levick Street in Northeast Philadelphia, police said.

A man, believed to be in his late teens or early 20s, broke into the home and made his way to a second floor bedroom where a 10-year-old was sleeping, Capt. John Darby said Monday.

The young girl told investigators she awoke to find the man buttoning up her shirt. She immediately screamed for help, awaking her 74-year-old babysitter, who was sleeping in the same room, Darby said.
The elderly woman, whose name we're withholding, jumped up and began fighting off the man.

"Intervention by the 74-year-old leads to a lengthy physical struggle," Capt. Darby said. "It literally proceeds from that bedroom and down the steps to the first floor of that property." Speaking through an interpreter, the sitter described the attack to NBC Philadelphia Monday explaining how she grabbed the man's arm and bit the suspect to keep him from escaping the home.

"He tried to cover his face with his hoodie and run away and while he was running away she grabbed his arm and then he grabbed her arm to try to get her off of him and at that time, that's when he scratched her," the woman said through the interpreter.
In addition to the scratch, the man also tried to throw the woman down the stairs, she said. Fortunately, she was able to balance herself by grabbing a banister after skipping a few steps.

Once he pushed the woman downstairs, the suspect turned around and went to find the girl, investigators said. The man then grabbed the girl and assaulted her for a second time before running back downstairs and out the front door, Capt. Darby said. "We have particular concern because of the aggressiveness and the persistentness of this attacker," Capt. Darby said. "The 74-year-old did a heck of a job in protecting this 10-year-old by putting herself in harms way."

The 10-year-old and the sitter weren't seriously injured in the attacks, but police say it could've quickly gotten worse.
Now police are reminding neighbors to lock their doors, keep lights on and keep a vigilant eye out for the suspect.

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