LONDONDERRY — A man wielding a large knife broke into a home and fought with the owner, falling down a flight of stairs before fleeing the scene.

The family at 22 Olde Country Village told police they were in bed when they heard their dog barking just past 10 p.m. Monday.

"The homeowner initially thought his son had come home and opened his bedroom door," Lt. Kevin Cavallaro said. "He saw the suspect was on the second floor with him. The suspect forced him back into his bedroom and ordered him to lie on his bed. His wife was in the room asleep."

The intruder was large. Police described his as over 6 feet tall and weighing 250 pounds. He was wearing a ski mask, black gloves and dark clothing.

He was wielding what police called a "kitchen-type knife" with a 3- to 5-inch blade.

The homeowner was going to cooperate and turned to head back to his bed, when things got worse.

"His 24-year-old daughter opened her door to see what was happening," Cavallaro said. "The suspect turned his attention to her and tried to force his way into (her) room. The father yelled for her to close her door."

The homeowner rushed into the hallway and ran past the suspect, drawing his attention away from his daughter.

"At this point, they got into an altercation and tumbled down the stairs," Cavallaro said. "At some point, the homeowner was cut on the hand and the suspect ran out the back door."

The injury was not serious and the homeowner declined medical attention, police said.

When police arrived shortly after, they searched the area with a K-9 unit, but couldn't find anyone.

"It doesn't appear to be forced entry; there is no broken glass," Cavallaro said.

"Nothing was taken from the house. What his intent was, why he was on the second floor, we don't know. Detectives are looking into that."

There are currently no suspects.

But the break-in might not be an isolated incident.

"That same day, Derry had a similar home invasion," Cavallaro said. "They're currently investigating it."

Derry police refused to comment yesterday on the incident in their town, saying only they would have information to release to the public soon.

Cavallaro said the public should be on the lookout and take normal precautions to protect their homes.

"I would encourage people to be cautious of leaving windows open on the first floor," he said. "But leave on exterior lighting at your home and put on your alarms."

Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to call police at 432-1118.

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