Woman fends off attacker in Gilroy home

Neighbor arrested on suspicion of multiple violent felonies

A South County woman repeatedly fought off a man who broke into her home and tried to remove her clothing before police arrived and arrested the attacker, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office.

About 2:38pm June 10, sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the 11500 block of Columbet Avenue in unincorporated Santa Clara County, between San Martin and Gilroy. A woman told deputies that her neighbor illegally entered her home, attacked her and attempted to remove her clothing, according to authorities.

The woman defended herself from the attack and escaped her own home. However, the suspect continued to pursue her outside the home, attempting to drag her back inside. The victim fought the man off again, and ran to get help, reads the June 12 press release.

When sheriff’s deputies arrived, the immediately began to investigate and search for the suspect, according to authorities. During the search of the property, the suspect was seen fleeing on foot. Deputies found him hiding in a nearby culvert and arrested him without further incident.

The suspect was identified of Hipolito Martinez, 35, of Gilroy. He was booked at Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of kidnapping, burglary, false imprisonment and assault with intent to commit a felony, according to authorities.

Sheriff Laurie Smith, in a statement, praised the victim for her resistance to the suspect.

Hipolito Martinez


“The fight and determination exhibited by this woman through multiple attacks was nothing short of heroic,” Smith said. “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.”

Anyone with information about the incident can call the sheriff’s office at (408) 808-4500.

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