19-year-old charged in Niles home invasion

NILES – Police have charged a city man in connection with the Dec. 30 home invasion and beating of a 65-year-old woman.

Anthony A. Howe, 19, of 2122 Robbins Ave., is charged with felony one aggravated burglary. Police said they expect to file additional charges against him after consulting with the Trumbull County Prosecutor’s Office.

Howe was arrested Thursday afternoon and was being held at the Trumbull County Jail pending his arraignment in Niles Municipal Court this morning.

Linda Spano, 65, was transported to Trumbull Memorial Hospital after suffering a fractured bone in her face and other injuries following the attack at her home, 24 N. Butler Ave., reports state. Immediately after, police asked for the public’s help in identifying her assailant.

Reports state that Spano was awakened in her upstairs bedroom just after 5 a.m. by the sound of breaking glass coming from near the back door of the residence. She retrieved a firearm, which she keeps in the home for safety, and went downstairs to investigate.

A man wearing a black-hooded sweatshirt with a black scarf over his face punched Spano several times, knocking her to the ground, police said.

The attacker took possession of the handgun and the victim’s cellular phone, before asking Spano for other items in the home, specifically drugs or prescription medication.

When the woman told the burglar she did not have any medications, the man left her lying on the floor to explore the home, which gave Spano an opportunity to run to a neighbor’s home to call police.

When Niles police arrived about 5:13 a.m., the burglar had fled. Officers found the back-door window smashed, with the door half-open, according to the police report.