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Woman reports apartment attack

A 22-year-old woman was raped in her apartment Tuesday night, authorities said, surprised by an intruder who slipped into her home when she left a door unlocked for a few minutes.

Because of the nature of the crime, the woman's identity is being withheld by the Sheriff's Office.

Authorities said the woman left her apartment about 9 p.m. to check on a relative living at the same apartment complex. "She had left her residence unsecured," sheriff's spokeswoman Gail Tierney said.

When she returned to her apartment a few minutes later, the woman told investigators, she heard a noise in a rear bedroom. She pushed open the door and saw a man standing in the middle of the room, authorities said.

The woman tried to flee, but the man grabbed her before she could reach the door, authorities said. He began pulling at her clothes, authorities said, and the victim said she could not get away from the man.

After assaulting the woman, the man ran out of the apartment, authorities said. The woman ran to her relative's apartment and reported the rape to the Sheriff's Office soon after.

Sheriff's detectives are following up several leads, Tierney said, and may be close to an arrest.

In other police news:

A 24-year-old woman was arrested early Friday morning for driving under the influence, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana and leaving the scene of an accident.

Inverness police officers said the woman rear-ended an ambulance _ its emergency lights were flashing _ then tried to flee.

Jessica Dutcher Ballien, of 5595 S Chestnut Ter., is being held in the Citrus County Detention Center in lieu of $1,250 bail.

According to a police report, the officers were responding to a report of an assault at Griff's Lounge when a black Lincoln struck the back of an ambulance at the bar on State Road 44 but did not stop.

Officers followed the car east on SR 44, eventually pulling it over. Ballien produced her driver's license, according to a police report, but did not have the car's registration or insurance card.

The officer detected alcohol on Ballien's breath, the report said. She woman failed several sobriety tests, according to reports, and was arrested.

Later, at the county jail, a corrections officer discovered marijuana in her purse, according to the report.

The report said Ballien told officers she felt a "bump" when she hit the ambulance but left the area because "she didn't think there was any damage."

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