Wanted: Police release sketch of man in burglary, sexual assault case

Police are continuing to searching for a man who sexually assaulted a woman in her Gastonia apartment, and neighbors at the complex say they won’t feel comfortable until he’s off the street.

The assault happened at an apartment complex on East Hudson Rd., and it’s left many worried.

“It's real alarming, it's actually is,” said Keenan Early.

Early lives at the Georgetowne Woods Apartment complex with his wife. Police say this is where the woman was sexually assaulted.

Investigators released a sketch of the suspect on Tuesday. He is believed to be someone the victim didn't even know.

“This is obviously a rare circumstance and we want to get him into custody as soon as possible,” Donna Lasher with the Gastonia Police Department said.

Gastonia Police say it was around 11:00 p.m. this past Wednesday when the assault happened.

“A man entered an apartment complex through a sliding glass door,” Lasher said.

The man was reportedly wearing dark clothing and a black toboggan, sneaking his way through the home.

Police emphasized the man is a danger to the community, and in the area around East Hudson-- likely even more so.

Within a short distance of Georgetowne Woods, there are at least two other apartment complexes and two senior living centers.

“I don't know who's watching now. I'm new here,” said Early.

He says he’s taking that extra step to keep his wife safe.

“A chair up under the doorknob. That'll prevent them from ramming in, and double-check the windows before I leave. Just got to make sure,” he said.

Police are still working to identify the suspect. If he looks familiar to you, you’re asked to call Gastonia Police.