Wednesday afternoon attack

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 13, 2008

By John Howell

Someone has bragged somewhere.

In Batesville Thursday morning there is probably a man who has found some way to brag or at least drop hints that he is responsible for the burglary and assault that set Perkins Lane ajar late Wednesday afternoon.

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“Somebody will know; somebody will hear about it,” said Police Chief Tony Jones as he talked about the burglary and injury at 226 Perkins Lane the day before.

The police chief wants people to know also that there was no sexual assault and that there were indications that the assailant knows the victim and targeted her.

The chain of events began about 4:30 p. m. Wednesday afternoon when the 56-year-old resident of 226 Perkins Lane pulled into her driveway. She exited the vehicle under the gray, threatening skies that would bring an early darkness to that afternoon and walked to the side door.

She was attacked as she was opening her door. A man that she would later describe as a stocky-built, African-American male about six feet tall ran from where he had apparently been hiding in waiting in her back yard. He was dressed in black clothing and wore a black ski mask pulled down over his face, Batesville Police Department Detective Captain Paul Shivers said.

The attacker forced his victim inside the home and tied her while he searched her home for valuables. At some point, police said, he struck her with an object, creating a head wound that bled profusely. While he was away from the room, the victim managed to free herself from her bonds and ran outside to seek a neighbor’s help.

“The whole ordeal probably didn’t last 15 minutes,” Shivers said.

A passing motorist spotted the bleeding assault victim and called police, the neighbor said.

“She was awake and conscious,” but “bleeding profusely from the head,” the neighbor said. “It seems that he was in the back of the house waiting on her.”

Police blocked the street while investigators went from door to door as darkness fell, knocking and seeking information from neighbors.

Officers cordoned the yard with yellow tape as they awaited crime lab investigators.

Other residences are located on both sides of the victim’s home, but the back faces a wooded area adjacent to the Batesville cemetery.

Police urge anyone who might have seen a suspicious car or person Wednesday afternoon in the area of the Batesville cemetery, Dickey Drive, Perkins Lane or Eureka Street to contact them.

Batesville police contacted the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation which sent its crime scene investigators, Jones said. Crime scene personnel “recovered items that the perpetrator touched; we might have some fingerprints,” Shivers said.

Police urge anyone who has information that might lead to the arrest of the Perkins Lane assailant to call them. Detective Paul Shivers can be reached at 563-5653. Panola County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Albert Perkins can be reached at 563-6230.

There is a reward available to the person who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the man responsible. The caller can remain anonymous — does not have to give his or her name.

Somewhere someone has bragged. And someone has heard.