Stephen Ellison

Woman Escapes Attacker Near Gilroy; Suspect Arrested: Sheriff

A woman twice fought off an attacker at her home in unincorporated Gilroy on Sunday, and deputies later tracked down the suspect and made an arrest, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office.

Hipolito Martinez, 35, of Gilroy was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on various felony charges after he attacked the woman and tried to rip off her clothing, sheriff's officials said.

The attack was reported about 2:40 p.m. Sunday in the 11500 block of Columbet Avenue, where Martinez unlawfully entered his neighbor's home and attacked her, sheriff's officials said. The woman told investigators she defended herself and managed to escape from her own home before Martinez chased her outside and tried to drag her back indoors.

The woman was able to escape a second time and flee for help, officials said.

Deputies arrived at the scene minutes later and saw Martinez running on the property. They found him hiding in a culvert and took him into custody, sheriff's officials said.

"The fight and determination exhibited by this woman through multiple attacks was nothing short of heroic," Sheriff Laurie Smith said. in a statement. "Her ability to fight off her attacker and call for help led to this quick apprehension and likely saved future women from being victimized by this individual."

Martinez faces felony charges of kidnapping, burglary, false imprisonment and assault with intent to commit a felony.

Anyone with any information about the incident should contact the Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division at 408-808-4500.

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