'Heroic' Santa Clara Co. woman fights off neighbor in alleged assault

- A man was arrested Sunday after he allegedly entered his female neighbor's home, attacked her and attempted to remove her clothing, Santa Clara County sheriff's officials said. 

Deputies responded to the 1500 block of Columbet Avenue in unincorporated Gilroy at 2:38 p.m. Sunday. A woman told deputies that her neighbor unlawfully entered her home and attacked her.

She was able to escape, but the man allegedly followed her outside and attempted to drag her back into the house. Sheriff's officials said she fought the man off and was able to get help.

Deputies searched the rural property and located the suspect, Hipolito Martinez, hiding in a nearby culvert after fleeing on foot.

Martinez was booked into Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of kidnapping, burglary, false imprisonment and assault with intent to commit a felony.

"The fight and determination exhibited by this woman through multiple attacks was nothing short of heroic," Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said in a statement, adding that the victim likely stopped the suspect from assaulting other women in the future.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the sheriff's office at (408) 808-4500.

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