By Neil H. Dempsey
---- — SALEM — A Prescott Street man was assaulted during a scuffle over a stolen ladder yesterday morning, police say.
The incident began when a woman looked out her kitchen window shortly before 11 a.m. and saw a man in his early 20s stealing a 20-foot Louisville ladder out of her backyard, according to the police log.
When the woman’s husband gave chase, the suspect dropped the ladder and tried to flee the scene.
The two became embroiled in a physical altercation as the man tried to detain the suspect until police arrived. First the suspect “began to shove him and attempt to strike him to get away,” police wrote — then the man struck the suspect in the face in order to defend himself.
The suspect elbowed him back, catching the man in the face and knocking him to the ground, and then fled the scene. The suspect was described as a white man, about 6-foot-1, with short brown hair and a medium build. He was reportedly wearing a blue winter jacket with a hood at the time.
Although the ladder was recovered, the man realized afterwards that two step ladders had gone missing, police say.
The man refused medical attention.