[Updated 4:57 p.m. with more details from Newton Police]
Newton Police are investigating an alleged assault of a Newton Free Library patron on Wednesday, March 6.
The incident began at around 11:30 a.m. when officers responded to a report of an unarmed robbery in progress, according to a Newton Police press release. The 25-year-old victim, who was studying in a private room on the second floor of the library on Homer Street, told police he had gone to the restroom and returned to his seat to find his laptop missing.
As he was returning to the room, the victim saw a man exiting the room. When he realized his laptop was missing, the victim chased the man down the stairs. He then confronted the man and a struggle ensued, reports said.
“The suspect then assaulted the victim about the head and face area. The victim was able to grab the suspect's jacket, and refused to let go until the suspect gave back his laptop,” police said in a statement.
During the altercation, the victim tried to hang on to the suspect's clothes as witnesses in the library called 911. Eventually, the suspect gave the laptop up and fled outside toward Walnut Street.
The suspect is described as an African-American man, 20-30 years old, 5’ 7’’ tall, according to a Newton Police press release. The suspect did not have facial hair and was wearing a black jacket with green shoulders. He also was wearing blue jeans and a black baseball hat turned backwards.
The computer sustained a shattered screen in the incident.
Another assault and theft took place at the Newton Free Library on Thursday, Jan. 10 around 1:30 p.m., Newton Police said. A 65-year-old male reported that as he was leaving the library, a person pushed him from behind and stole his shoulder bag containing an Apple MacBook.
The victim's bag was found the next day in Central Square, Cambridge, with the laptop missing.
The suspect in that incident was described as 6-feet tall, 20-30 years old, wearing a dark grey thigh-length winter coat with a fur collar. The suspect was also wearing a red baseball hat with a sports logo, police said.
Anybody with information on the incidents can call police 617-796-2100 or its anonymous Tips Line at 617-796-2121.