Police: Naked Man Attacks Homeowner With Hammer

A Massachusetts man is facing numerous charges after he allegedly ran away from a hospital while naked, broke into a Newburyport home and attacked the homeowner with a hammer.

Police said 26-year-old Amesbury resident Robert J. Girard was arrested and charged with attempted murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and aggravated burglary after the overnight incident.

Officers responded to Anna Jaques Hospital just before 11 p.m. Thursday for a report of a "walk-away" patient, later identified as Girard, who staff noticed was missing after removing IVs and a GPS monitoring ankle bracelet.

It's unclear why Girard was initially admitted to the facility.

"When this patient fled our emergency room, we followed our policy and procedure and immediately notified the police, and worked with them to help locate the individual," said a spokesperson for Anna Jaques Hospital.

"I think something should have gone out the residents, to local residents of the hospital," neighbor Bob Toye said. "To be on the lookout. There's an escaped patient."

Around 2 a.m. Friday, police were called back to the hospital's emergency room, where they found a woman who lived on Rawson Avenue - just feet from the hospital - who told them that a man had broken into her home and attacked her partner with a hammer.

The couple was asleep when they heard footsteps on the stairs leading to their bedroom.

Girard was eventually found on Lois Street, still naked, according to Newburyport police.

The victim, a 50-year-old Newburyport man, was treated at Anna Jaques Hospital and has since been released.

Girard is due back in court Monday on attempted murder and other charges.

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