SALISBURY, N.C. -- A teenager escaped an attacker by biting off a piece of his genitals, Salisbury police said.
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The 18-year-old woman was taking a walk when, according to police, she was attacked and dragged into a nearby wooded area.
Police said the attacker then forced the woman to perform a sex act, and when she refused he beat her up.
Police said he then tried to force her again, and was again beaten for refusing.
That's when police said she bit down on the man's genitals hard enough to tear a piece off.
The man fled the area, and hasn't been seen since. However, police said they are trying to catch up with him by checking local hospitals for patients who are being treated for such a unique injury.
Neighbors in the area said they think the neighborhood is safe, but aren't taking any chances.
"Oh my gosh -- this is my neighborhood," said Patti Heilig, who walks the same area daily. "If it can happen to that poor girl, it can happen to anybody."
Other residents said they are considering carrying Mace for protection.
"It hits so close to home and we were here out and about last night," one woman said.
Police said a similar attacked happened months ago, but that attack doesn't appear to be related.
The teen was taken to the hospital, but officials have not released her condition.