WATERVILLE — Police are searching for a man who attacked a woman and stole her purse Tuesday night in a residential neighborhood.
The Squire Street robbery is a kind of street crime that is rare in the area, particularly in a residential area, said Waterville Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey.
The woman reported that a man grabbed her from behind and in the process of trying to steal her purse, hit her in the face, according to Rumsey.
The woman called the police from Inland Hospital at 9:06 p.m. while being treated for injuries from the assault.
She told police she was leaving her Squire Street residence with a friend when she was attacked.
Rumsey said police are trying to find out why the man was on the low-traffic side street when the woman was leaving her home.
In Maine in 2011, 370 robberies were reported, which was 11 percent fewer than the year before, according to the most recent data available from the Maine State Police.
About a quarter of the 2011 robberies happened on a street or in an alley, according to the data.
About half of the robberies that year involved a person using hands, fists or feet for violence or threatening.
Of the 370 robberies, 10 percent occurred in Kennebec County.
Rumsey said the suspect was described as a tall white man of average build, between 20 and 30 years old and wearing a dark-hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and dark shoes.
Rumsey said police are not identifying the woman or the contents of her purse at this point.
The attacker ran away and the woman and a witness who was with her reported not knowing which way he fled.
The report is being investigated by Detective David Caron. Rumsey urged anyone with information about the case to call the Waterville Police Department at 680-4700.
Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252