Man accused of forcing himself through door, sexually assaults woman in northeast Charlotte

CHARLOTTE — Officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department are searching for a man who allegedly knocked on a woman’s door, forced his way inside, and sexually assaulted her.

The incident happened at about 6:30 a.m. Sunday at a University City apartment complex off North Tryon Street near Kumara Road.

The victim told police she heard a knock on the door, and cracked it open, which was when the suspect forced his way in and assaulted her.

The victim, who is about the age of a college student, and her roommates scared off the perpetrator, CMPD said.

Their apartment was broken into when they were away for a few days earlier this month.

Police said to be aware and have advice for when a stranger knocks on your door.

“No matter who you are, if you don’t know who’s at the door, if it’s a strange time or somebody might be knocking, make sure you know who is on the other side before you open it up,” said Capt. James Ivie.

Police said they collected evidence they thought contained DNA.

Along with that, detectives are sifting through surveillance footage in the area.

Investigators say the suspect was wearing a tan windbreaker, tan pants, and a tan baseball cap.

Veteran crime reporter Glenn Counts went to the complex and spoke with residents who were still shaken up about the incident.

“It makes you really nervous. It’s supposed to be a safe place in your community and to hear something like that is terrifying,” said Danielle Lafferty, a resident. “To be a female knowing that something like that could happen is uncomfortable.”

Channel 9 mapped out the crime in the area going back several months and there were no incidents that had been reported at the complex before the sexual assault. However, other complexes in the same area have had problems with thefts.

A resident, who didn’t want to be identified, told Counts she’s a mother and now feels uneasy about even walking around the complex.

“It makes me nervous because I have little kids so with me having little kids it’s dangerous,” the resident said, “I also have a dog and they walk the dog at different times so that makes me feel very uneasy.”

This is a developing story; check back at wsoctv.com for updates.

(WATCH: Man accused of sexual assault, break-in at Belmont Abbey dorm turns himself in)