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Details emerge of home-invasion hammer beating

Blood. Everywhere.

They found it in the bathtub. They found droplets of it all over the floor. It drenched the linens in a bedroom; it poured from the head of a woman who had been hiding there.

And it was all over the claw hammer with a broken wooden handle lying on the ground at the end of the woman’s bed.

That’s the scene Fort Wayne Police officers were greeted with when they went inside a home in the 1000 block of Pasadena Drive early Thursday morning.

The woman had called them to her Southwood Park home, telling emergency dispatchers that she awoke in her bed to a man beating her.

Then, at just after 4:30 a.m., officers were looking at multiple lacerations to the woman’s head, buried beneath her blood-saturated hair, waiting for medics to arrive and trying to piece together what happened.

Police initially released few details over the weekend, but Monday several police reports surfaced.

In one report, the woman – who is not identified – said she awoke when her bedroom door made a sound.

At first, she thought it might be her young son, who sometimes comes and sleeps with her, the report said.

But when she looked toward the door, she saw a man she did not know, she told police.

She could only give police a vague description of the man, according to the report, noting his race and that he wore a “red puffy jacket.”

When asked further about the jacket, she said she couldn’t be sure of what it really looked like or anything else about the man, the report said.

As she looked at the man, he put his finger to his lips, as if telling her to be quiet, the report said. He then began to hit her with “something hard,” the report said.

The woman curled into a fetal position in a futile attempt at protection, but the attack went on for a few minutes, the report said.

When it was over, the man disappeared. She did not see where he went.

While speaking with medics, who took the woman to a hospital in serious condition, the woman noticed her debit card was missing, according to one report.

The woman also had a laceration to her ear and her finger, according to the reports, and all of the injuries were hard to see due to the blood.

At the home, police quickly turned their attention to the wooden-handled claw hammer, which had evidence of the attack stuck to it, the reports said.

When police first arrived at the scene, they found a side door ajar and then a storm door leading into the home propped open.

Lights in all the rooms downstairs were turned on.

All the televisions were turned on downstairs, as well, and each had its volume set to a very high level, one report said.

The woman’s room had dresser drawers that were open and empty.

Police brought a K-9 unit to the scene but, because there were so many investigators already there, the dog could not find a solid scent to follow that might have belonged to the suspect.

Detectives and officers also looked for items the man may have left finger or palm prints on, but could not find any prints, the report said.

Other officers searched several open garages in the neighborhood to see if anyone was hiding in them, but they also came up empty, the report said.

Later that morning, at about 9 a.m., a man who lives across the street called police to report a theft.

He had heard about the home invasion from someone else in the neighborhood, and when he walked out to his garage his bicycle had been stolen.

“He thinks that the suspect who broke into the other address may be the same person who took his bike,” an officer wrote in a report.

Police have yet to identify a suspect in the battery, and an update on the woman’s condition was not available Monday evening.

jeffwiehe@jg.net

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