When a young girl got home from school one day last week, she was startled by the sight of a stranger running through her Minneapolis living room, screaming, authorities said.
The suspect, Richard Lee Smith, 37, allegedly punched the girl, whose age was not disclosed but who is a juvenile, and then choked her with both hands during the Dec. 22 incident, according to a criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court. She managed to fight him off and break free, before running outside for help, the complaint said.
Police arrived at the 2500 block of Grand Avenue S. to find the front door locked but went inside after getting a key from the victim’s mother, and found Smith hiding in one of the bedrooms. Investigators say the clothes match those worn by a suspect in a restaurant robbery the previous night. A pile of items he intended to steal was found nearby, police said, and a car previously reported stolen was parked outside.
When police found her, the victim had red marks around her neck, the complaint said. In addition, she had bruises and swelling on her forehead and a black eye with broken blood vessels.
Smith, who was charged with first-degree burglary while committing assault, remains jailed in lieu of $150,000 bail. His preliminary court date was set for Thursday.