PITTSBURGH (WPXI/CNN) – Police said a man spent weeks hiding in his ex-girlfriend’s attic.
The woman is remaining anonymous, but she did share what happened to her.
For the last three weeks, the woman said she saw signs inside her home that someone else might be living there. She was afraid it was her ex-boyfriend, Cary Cocuzzi.
“I had an intuition about it, but I ignored it,” she said. “I brushed it aside. I didn’t want to seem paranoid or, you know – you never think this will happen to you, but I should have trusted my instinct, because I was right.”
The first sign was the toilet seat in her bathroom.
"Nobody in my home uses the bathroom that way,” she said. “And I didn't have any visitors, so I just thought, 'Gosh, is this guy in my house? This is so strange.'"
The second sign was the blanket she found in a corner of her basement, where no one ever went.
"I knew that blanket had not been there before. I knew it,” she said. “But what could I do? I already had the PFA against him. I can't call the police and say there's a blanket in my basement."
She did have an active PFA (Protection From Abuse order) against Cocuzzi, but on Saturday night the woman said she found him standing in the middle of her bedroom. She said he grabbed her by the face, and she fought him off.
She ran outside screaming and neighbors called 911.
Police said Cocuzzi told them he has been homeless several times in the past two years. He’s been charged with burglary and unlawful restraint, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
The woman is thankful her two daughters weren’t home that night, but she also feels incredibly violated, and worries about what might happen when Cocuzzi gets out of jail.
"He did not respect the PFA. Who knows what could have happened?" she said.