(WMC) - A Lakeland woman fought off a stranger who attacked her with a knife in her own home. She then hid with her 8-year-old cousin in a closet until sheriff's deputies arrived.
Shelby County sheriff's investigators are working the case as a home invasion. It happened Wednesday evening in East Shores, a gated community in Lakeland.
The woman let the dog out into the backyard and went into the kitchen. When she turned around, she found a strange man had come inside.
Deputies say the man pushed the woman into the oven door, which resulted in a bruise. In turn, she kicked him in the leg and knocked him to the floor. Deputies say he pulled out a knife, cut her on the inner part of her right thigh, leaving six scratch marks. He then told her, "I'll be back." He left through the back door through from which he had entered.
The woman went upstairs and hid in a closet with her cousin as she called 911.
"The saving grace is that she was not hurt and neither was anyone else," said Chip Washington, with Shelby County Sheriff's Office. "We all feel violated when someone enters who doesn't have permission to do so."
Investigators are searching for a suspect described as a black man, 6 feet 1 inch tall, 200 pounds. He was about 30 to 33 years old and was wearing a black sweatshirt, blue jeans, and a black do-rag. The man had black hair and no visible marks or tattoos.
East Shores is wired with a brand new high-definition surveillance system. Investigators are sifting through the video for any recorded evidence.
"We do have a very good description of this suspect from the victim. Hopefully we'll catch him soon," Washington added.
Until then, neighbors are more protective than ever.
If you have information that could help solve the case, call 901-222-5600.