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Police arrest suspect

Maddie Hanna | Friday, September 1, 2006

Police arrested a Mishawaka man Wednesday in connection with the alleged assault at Turtle Creek Apartments Aug. 23.

Bruce Smith, 24, was arrested Wednesday night on “preliminary charges” relating to the incident in which a female Notre Dame junior, 21, was held at knifepoint in her Turtle Creek apartment, South Bend Police Captain John Williams said Thursday.

Williams said he could not specify how Smith was found and arrested – “I didn’t look into all that” – or what charges were made.

“The [St. Joseph County] prosecutors will decide what he will be formally charged with,” Williams said.

When asked if he knew this was the man who broke into the apartment and assaulted the student, Williams said, “No, I don’t.”

After the arrest, Smith was taken to the St. Joseph County Jail, Williams said.

At about 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 23, a man who claimed to be a cable company employee allegedly entered the student’s apartment and said he needed to check the student’s cable.

The student, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Observer Sunday that 10 minutes after the man entered her apartment she was increasingly certain “this guy wasn’t supposed to be in my apartment.”

Several minutes later, the student said, the man was holding a knife to her neck. Despite his threats – “‘If you scream, I’ll kill you'” – the student said she managed to escape by grabbing the knife and pushing his arm away.

As she tried to escape, the man ran out of her apartment, she said.

Williams said he could not give a timeline for the review of the case, to be conducted by the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s office.