WATERVILLE — Police on Thursday were looking for a man reportedly armed with a handgun and hammer who attacked another man Thursday morning in a Union Street apartment.

Police Chief Joseph Massey said at the scene that the attacker was not there when police arrived and they have yet to find him.

“We are still in the early stages where we are trying to sort everything out,” he said.

Massey said police got a report by phone around 10:20 a.m. that a person had been assaulted at 11 Union St. and the attacker was armed with a handgun and a hammer.

Police descended on Union Street, a short street connecting Front Street and College Avenue, carrying long rifles and wearing bullet-proof vests. They blocked the street to traffic and pedestrians as they searched for the attacker and spoke to witnesses. Workers paving the street temporarily had to stop their operations.

Around 11 a.m., Massey said police had secured the apartment building where the incident occurred and the attacker was not inside. Police earlier had released a radio alert to be on the lookout for a white male wearing a red bandanna and black T-shirt and armed with a hammer and a gun.

Amanda Skomurski, 29, who lives nearby, said there’s always trouble involving drugs at 11 Union St. and police often are called there.

“It’s a bad building,” Skomurski said. “I’m not saying everybody in the building is bad, but it’s always been a problem house.”

Deputy police Chief Bill Bonney said later that police have responded to reports about the apartment building nine times since May, and one of those reports was about someone using drugs in a vehicle, but police were not able to corroborate that claim. He said police also went there because of an animal problem and to serve paperwork.

“There has been some drug activity associated with that address. Whether or not it’s related to the folks in today’s incident is under investigation,” Bonney said.

Early on at the scene Thursday, a young woman stood on the sidewalk talking with police, and a young man with an apparent head injury who had been with her walked up the street toward Central Fire Station, which is at the corner of Union Street and College Avenue. Police Officer Matt Libby spoke to him and firefighters emerged from the station to tend to him. One firefighter asked the injured man if he was experiencing vertigo or dizziness, and the man said he had a headache.

Delta Ambulance arrived, and just after 11 a.m. the man was escorted into the back of the ambulance and the young woman got into the cab and the ambulance left the scene.

The apartment building at 11 Union St. has seven apartments and the incident occurred in Apartment 1 on the first floor.

Karen Fogg, 51, who lives in a nearby first-floor apartment, said she did not hear or see anything unusual Thursday morning before she looked out the window and saw armed police everywhere. Fogg said she did not know what was happening.

“I am shocked by this,” she said.

Another woman was trying to catch a little brown dog she called Max that was running around the apartment building parking lot, barking and scurrying into the street. The woman said she lives in Apartment 1, where the attack occurred. She declined to give her name but said she was entering the building when the man, later identified as the attacker, also entered, but she did not recognize him.

“I was walking into the apartment and he came in past me and I just walked out,” she said.

She said she did not see the attack, but her friend did and told her about it.

“Some guy just came looking for my cousin — said he took his money,” she said. “He ran out and my friend called the police. He had a hammer and a gun.”

She said the man, who had brown hair and was wearing glasses, shorts and a black T-shirt, fled through the back door.

“He was probably late 20s, early 30s,” she said. “I’ve never seen him before.”

The apartment house where the attack occurred is on the north side of Union Street, four buildings in from College Avenue.

Brandon Frappier, 21, who lives on the corner of College Avenue and Union Street, said his stepmother, Anne Hursch, woke him up Thursday morning saying police were outside with rifles. He said he loaded his AR-15 rifle and went outside, but police told him to go back inside because he might be mistaken for the gunman.

“I’ve got to protect my family,” Frappier said. “You just never know if the guy is going to get around them (police).”

Hursch, 60, and Frappier sat on the porch of their three-unit apartment building watching the goings-on. Hursch said she was glad Frappier was home Thursday morning and they would be locking their doors.

At 11:20 a.m., police opened the street back up to traffic but remained at the scene.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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