By Mike LaBella
---- — HAVERHILL — Police are investigating a report that a woman’s face and arm were slashed by a man carrying a sharp weapon, while he tried to steal her pocketbook.
Police said the woman told them she was walking through an alley near downtown about 7:45 a.m. Thursday when she was attacked.
The woman said a man came up behind her while she was in an alley off of How Street and grabbed her pocketbook. The area is just north of downtown.
The woman told police that when she put up a fight to keep her pocketbook, her assailant cut her in the face and arm, possibly with a box cutter. She told police the man got away with her pocketbook containing prescription medications and an undetermined amount of cash.
Yesterday, police said they have received conflicting details of what happened around the time of the incident. They said they expect the investigation to continue for several days, as they try to gather more information.
Investigators said the woman told them her attacker was dressed in a gray hoodie and blue basketball shorts. But police said a witness reported seeing the woman arguing with a man shortly before she was hurt. The witness’s description of the man was different from the description given to police by the woman. Police said the man described by the witness was much heavier set than the man described by the victim.
“At this point, it’s a matter of following up on witness statements to determine what happened in its entirety and who committed the crime,” said police Lt. Robert Pistone.
When police arrived, the woman was bleeding from wounds to her face and arm. Police said the woman was taken by Trinity Ambulance to Merrimack Valley Hospital for treatment.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Haverhill Police Detective John Moses at 978-373-1212, ext. 1566.