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Sister helps woman attacked by Peoria sex assault, burglary suspect

Posted at 3:06 PM, Nov 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-14 19:28:19-05

PEORIA, AZ — A West Valley woman says her sister was "very brave" to help fend off a man who was attacking her at her Peoria home on Wednesday.

Peoria police arrested 22-year-old Eniefiok Akpanikat Wednesday night around 8:15 p.m. at his family's home in a neighborhood nearby where the attack occurred.

Police say the incident happened near 97th Drive and Olive Avenue around 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Police say the female victim was inside her home when someone knocked on her front door. When she opened the door, she says the suspect offered to walk her dogs or babysit for her. When she told him no, he allegedly stepped into the house and grabbed the woman and sexually assaulted her.

"I could just feel him on top of me," she told ABC15 in a Thursday interview. "I was trying to push him and I felt him, he licked my face."

The woman's sister, who did not want to be identified, came into the room and found the suspect on top of her sister.

"That screaming in her voice, was a scream calling for help. She literally yelled my name and said, 'Help!'" the woman said.

The woman says Akpanikat took off running and she chased after him. "Unfortunately none of us had seen his face clearly enough to accurately give a description, so I decided to chase after him."

She took photos before the suspect "decided to run off again."

Peoria police say those photos led to valuable tips that ultimately led to Akpanikat's arrest.

"The detective said that he was not going to stop until they got him and I am so grateful," the victim said.

Police say Akpanikat was taken into custody without incident. He is currently facing burglary, assault and kidnapping charges.