Aiken woman attacked at gunpoint

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News 12 First at Five, January 29, 2008

AIKEN, S.C. --- Tips are coming in every day and investigators have a sketch of their mystery man--a man who threw a 20-year-old woman to the ground and pointed a gun at her face.

Aiken investigators say this is the first time something like this happened in their city. Now, the search is on to identify the man who attacked the 20-year-old woman at her home.

Taking her lunch break, 23-year-old Amanda Afanadar heads into a cafe on Laurens Street. She works around the corner and just down the road from the start of a violent night for another Aiken woman.

"Makes me a little nervous. It really does. That's scary," says Amanda.

Scary because Aiken Investigators say on Thursday night, a 20-year-old woman noticed she was being followed by a car as she left work.

Neighbors say she was a waitress at a downtown restaurant.

"You really don't hear about stuff like that in Aiken," says Amanda.

Investigators believe the attacker was in the restaurant. Then, the 20-year-old pulled into her driveway on the 200 block of Ashwood Drive, when she saw a strange car parked next door.

The accused attacker is about 25 to 30 years old, a white male, heavyset and has a dark colored goatee. He apparently got out of his car, ran up behind the victim, grabbed her by the neck and threw her to the ground.

"This is not common. This is not something we've seen before in Aiken. We're concerned," says Aiken Dept. of Public Safety Public Information Officer Lt. David Turno.

The attacker then allegedly pointed a gun in the woman's face saying "give me your purse" or he'd kill her, and later saying, "I know where you live and I'll kill you."

"We want this person identified and apprehended," says Lt. Turno.

Earlier that day, a neighbor saw someone suspicious matching some of the attacker's description.

For Amanda, nothing's changing.

"Just pay attention to what's going on around you. If there's someone sitting around you and he's always been around, keep an eye on it," says Amanda.

Neighbors tell News 12 it's been about two months since the woman moved into the house and this past Sunday, she moved out.

A second woman told investigators she was watched for about an hour at a downtown Laurens Street restaurant recently too. But investigators aren't sure if these two incidents are related.

The woman did not file an official report.

If you have any information, call the Aiken Department of Public Safety or Crimestoppers of the Midlands.

ADPS Det. David Savage: (803) 642-7687
Crime Stoppers of the Midlands: (888) 559-TIPS

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