Attacker used ruse, police say

Police are looking for a man who attacked a woman with a gun in front of her Newport Beach home, authorities said Thursday.

About 11 a.m. Wednesday, a man went up to a home in the 2900 block of Setting Sun Drive, near Jasmine View Park in Corona del Mar, and asked the woman living there if she knew where someone was selling a bike. He said it was on a nearby street and needed help finding the house.

"He used it as a ruse to put her at ease," said Lt. Bill Hartford.

The woman stayed in her house and pointed it out for him, Hartford said.

About five minutes later, the man returned to the house, saying he couldn't find the location and needed her help again.

This time, the woman stepped outside the house to point it out to him, police said. The man grabbed her and tried to force her back into the house, she started screaming and he pistol-whipped her in the head, Hartford said.

Police believe the man intended to rob the woman's home.

A neighbor heard the woman screaming and shouted her name, scaring off the potential robber, police said.

The attacker was described as a 40-year-old male Latino or Italian, 5 foot 9, with a thin build, possible mustache, and wearing a dark-colored baseball cap with a blue or green shirt and dark pants.

He drove away in an unknown vehicle, police said.

The woman was bleeding from the head and was treated at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Det. Donald Prouty at (949) 644-3767 or the police department's hotline at (800) 550-NBPD.

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