NILES - Police are asking for help in identifying a man responsible for an early Monday morning burglary, which escalated into the assault of a city resident, officials said.
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, located at 24 N. Butler Ave.
"We have no leads at this time," Capt. Ken Criswell said Monday afternoon. "We're hoping getting the story out there may help."
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.
The woman retrieved a firearm, which she keeps in the home for safety, and went downstairs to investigate.
"She saw a flashlight shining in her house, so she went and confronted the guy," Criswell said.
The suspect, described as a white man about 6-foot-2 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 then 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 suspect 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 on the scene at about 5:13 a.m., the suspect had fled in an unknown direction.
Officers found the back door window smashed, with the door half open, according to the police report.
Upon clearing the scene of the crime, officers went to the neighbor's home where they found Spano badly beaten and bleeding from the face.
She is currently in stable condition.
Both the handgun and cell phone remained missing, presumed stolen, police said. It is unclear if other items were taken from the house.
According to Criswell, while the injuries were serious, the result could have been worse.
"It's just best not to confront people in a situation like that," Criswell said. "Stay upstairs, call 911 and have the gun to protect yourself."
No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.