IMPD seeks suspects in morning sex assault, robbery
By Sandra Chapman, WTHR investigative reporter - bio | email
Note: This image is from a neighbor's driveway. It is not the home where the alleged assault took place.
Indianapolis Police are looking for a group of men who began shoveling a woman's driveway and then pushed their way into her home where they sexually assaulted and robbed her.
It happened in the 3800 Block of S. LaSalle Street Wednesday morning around 7:00 am.
The woman told police she didn't know the men, but opened the door when one of them knocked on her door. That's when she says they forced their way inside her home and sexually assaulted and robbed her.
Ron Branham has lived in the neighborhood near Hanna Avenue for 36 years. He stopped shoveling his own driveway Thursday to talk with Eyewitness News.
"I would have fell for the same thing," he said, talking about his neighbor opening her door to people who on the surface appeared to be stopping to perform an act of goodwill, by shoveling her driveway.
Now he and others are on alert as they dig out from Wednesday's snow. The men they thought were being kind turned out to be alleged robbers and rapists.
Branham saw two of the men from a distance.
"I saw a black SUV and two guys shoveling snow at the end of the driveway. I didn't really think too much of it," he said.
The woman told police the men had only been here a short time and shoveled just a very small area of the driveway before they came to the door.
"He pulled a knife on her and then the other two followed her in," said Branham.
Outside, there was no clue as to what was going on. It was just seven in the morning.
"About 5 or 10 minutes later, the neighbor lady come running up to my door saying she had just been assaulted and tied up and robbed," Branham recalled.
The men made off with a big screen TV, handguns and electronics. Branham says nothing like this has ever happened in his neighborhood before.
"I'm a Vietnam veteran and I live on the edge most of the time anyway, so it kind of shook me up," Branham said. "She unlocked the door and let them in. Now I'll probably be armed when I go to the door."
IMPD says it has not made any arrest in the case.
Homeowners are again reminded not to let your guard down during snow clean-up. Don't open your door to strangers or snow removers you have not hired. If something seems suspicious, call police.