Teen turns knife on sex attacker

Police investigate a sexual assault and stabbing in Ottawa, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012.   (Tony...

Police investigate a sexual assault and stabbing in Ottawa, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (Tony Caldwell/QMI Agency)

Danielle Bell, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:58 PM ET

OTTAWA -- A 19-year-old woman somehow wrested a knife away from a man who broke into her room Thursday in a brutal sex attack that has stunned residents of a west Ottawa apartment.

Tenant Sarah Kitney, 25, got the shock of her life when she answered a banging on her Elmira St. apartment at about 10 a.m.

"There was a girl there, she was dripping blood. I noticed she was completely nude, except for a leather jacket," said Kitney, who gave the terrified woman clothing and towels. "She told me someone broke in, attacked her and had a knife."

The woman also told Kitney she had been forced to perform sex acts.

Kitney, whose unit floor was splattered with blood droplets, brought the woman inside and called police.

Officers arrested a man a short time later. Neighbours said he was nabbed in a nearby unit.

"They were screaming and yelling at him to put his hands up," Kitney said. "They broke in, dragged him out. He was just in boxers and covered in blood."

Sources said the 56-year-old man was stabbed in the groin, thigh and chest. According to neighbours, the man is a tenant of the building.

The victim is believed to be part of a group of students who recently moved in for the start of the school year.

Sources said the woman was asleep inside her locked unit when a man broke in.

She suffered what witnesses describe as defensive wounds to her hands but somehow managed to get the knife away from her attacker, whom she did not know.

Both were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

Neighbours told QMI Agency that years ago, the suspect was a maintenance man under a previous building owner.

"He seemed like just a normal guy. He seemed harmless," said Kitney, who wants building security boosted. "It just seemed like something out of a thriller, a scary movie. You just don't expect it to happen."

The suspect was apparently banned from the property, according to a man, who works with building management.

New owners bought the building in September 2010, according to the man, who was shocked to learn of the attack when contacted by QMI Agency.

Police roped off a grassy area adjacent to the building on Thursday morning, later expanding it in the afternoon. Several cruisers were parked outside the property, where officers were interviewing witnesses.

danielle.bell@sunmedia.ca

@ottawasundbell

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