Posted at: 09/23/2013 12:47 PM
| Updated at: 09/23/2013 7:25 PM
By: Steve Flamisch
SELKIRK -- A woman told police she came home Monday to find an intruder rifling through her possessions, and that she scuffled with the man before barricading herself inside a bedroom to escape him, police said.
The victim was on the phone with her boyfriend when she encountered the intruder inside her mobile home at 1734 Route 9W in Fleming's Park, police said. The boyfriend called 911 after the phone disconnected.
"Upon our arrival, the suspect had already fled the scene," Coeymans Police Chief Gregory Darlington said. "The female had barricaded herself in her bedroom."
The victim's boyfriend told NewsChannel 13 the intruder choked and struck his girlfriend. He said she fought back by scratching the intruder's face, and that she used a dresser to block the bedroom door.
Darlington would neither confirm nor deny that version of events.
The suspect was still at large late Monday. He is described as a white male in his late thirties or early forties, 5-foot-9 to 5-foot-11, with a medium build and light-colored hair. He was wearing a blue-on-blue flannel shirt and jeans.
"The victim stated that she did not know who he is," Darlington said. "It's too early in the investigation to determine the reasons for (the home invasion) or if there's any known association."
Darlington said the victim underwent a medical evaluation, and that she did not appear to be injured. It was unclear whether anything was stolen.
Acting on information that the suspect fled on foot, Coeymans Police called in the New York State Police K9 unit and helicopter to help scour the woods nearby.
Christine Bell, who lives across the street from Fleming's Park, told NewsChannel 13 she peered outside when she heard the chopper circling overhead. Soon, officers and troopers were searching her property.
"Everyone was in my backyard just going through everything," Bell said. "They went through the camper like three times to make sure nobody was in there hiding. (They) went through my sheds, checked all the cars."
Bell said two state troopers entered an unlocked shed with guns drawn, but they found no one hiding inside.
"It was scary," she said. "That's why I stayed in the house, and my doors are still locked."
The nearby Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Middle School and High School were briefly on lockdown during the manhunt, police said.