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Neighbor scared off elderly woman's attacker during sexual assault, sheriff says

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Posted at 10:10 AM, Jan 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-03 11:10:47-05

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A neighbor came to the aid of an elderly woman being sexually assaulted in St. Petersburg, Florida on Thursday and scared her attacker off, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies say Wilbert Henderson, 59, broke into the 72-year-old woman's home around 10:30 a.m. and assaulted her.

Authorities say Henderson was exposed when he broke in, forced the victim to the ground and touched her genitals.

A neighbor heard the victim scream, ran over to the home and started to bang on the window, according to detectives. They say Henderson ran away and was followed by a witness.

Deputies responded and arrested Henderson. They say he admitted to breaking into the home and said his intention was to rape the victim.

Henderson is charged with one count lewd and lascivious battery upon an elderly person and one count burglary to an occupied dwelling. According to an arrest report, Henderson exhibited signs of mental health issues.

The arrest report says Henderson did not know the victim.

The victim suffered minor injuries in the attack and was treated at a local hospital, authorities say.

This story was originally published by staff at WFTS.