WATERVILLE — Police on Thursday were looking for a man reportedly armed with a handgun and hammer who attacked another man Thursday morning in a Union Street apartment.

Police Chief Joseph Massey said at the scene that the attacker was not there when police arrived and they have yet to find him.

“We are still in the early stages where we are trying to sort everything out,” he said.

Massey said police got a report by phone around 10:20 a.m. that a person had been assaulted at 11 Union St. and the attacker was armed with a handgun and a hammer.

Police descended on Union Street, a short street connecting Front Street and College Avenue, carrying rifles and wearing bulletproof vests. They blocked the street to traffic and pedestrians as they searched for the attacker and spoke to witnesses. Workers paving the street temporarily had to stop their operations.

Around 11 a.m., Massey said police had secured the apartment building where the incident occurred and the attacker was not inside. Police earlier had released a radio alert to be on the lookout for a white male wearing a red bandanna and black T-shirt and armed with a hammer and a gun.

A Waterville medical technician treats a man at the scene of an attack on Union Street Thursday morning. Police were still looking for the attacker, who was reportedly armed with a gun and a hammer.

A Waterville medical technician treats a man at the scene of the attack on Union Street Thursday morning. Staff photo by Amy Calder

Amanda Skomurski, 29, who lives nearby, said there’s always trouble involving drugs at 11 Union St. and police often are called there.

“It’s a bad building,” Skomurski said. “I’m not saying everybody in the building is bad, but it’s always been a problem house.”

Deputy police Chief Bill Bonney said later that police have responded to calls about the apartment building nine times since May, and one of those reports was about someone using drugs in a vehicle. He said police also went there because of an animal problem and to serve paperwork.

“There has been some drug activity associated with that address. Whether or not it’s related to the folks in today’s incident is under investigation,” Bonney said.

At the scene Thursday, a young woman stood on the sidewalk talking with police, and a young man with an apparent head injury who had been with her walked up the street toward Central Fire Station at the corner of Union Street and College Avenue. Police Officer Matt Libby spoke to the man. A firefighter asked the man if he was experiencing vertigo or dizziness, and the man said he had a headache.

Am ambulance arrived, and just after 11 a.m. the man was helped into the back of the ambulance and it left the scene.

The attack occurred on first floor of the apartment building, which has seven apartments.

Karen Fogg, 51, who lives in a nearby apartment, said she did not hear or see anything unusual Thursday morning before she looked out the window and saw armed police everywhere.

“I am shocked by this,” she said.

Another woman was trying to catch a little brown dog she called Max that was running around the apartment building parking lot, barking and scurrying into the street. The woman said she lives in Apartment 1, where the attack occurred. She declined to give her name but said she was entering the building when the man, later identified as the attacker, also entered, but she did not recognize him.

“I was walking into the apartment and he came in past me and I just walked out,” she said.

She said she didn’t see the attack, but her friend did.

“Some guy just came looking for my cousin — said he took his money,” she said. “He ran out and my friend called the police. He had a hammer and a gun.”

She said the man, who had brown hair and was wearing glasses, shorts and a black T-shirt, fled through the back door.

“He was probably late 20s, early 30s,” she said.

Brandon Frappier, 21, who lives on the corner of College and Union, said his stepmother, Anne Hursch, woke him up Thursday morning saying police were outside with rifles. He said he loaded his AR-15 rifle and went outside, but police told him to go back inside because he might be mistaken for the gunman.

“I’ve got to protect my family,” Frappier said. “You just never know if the guy is going to get around them (police).”

Hursch, 60, and Frappier sat on the porch of their three-unit apartment building watching the goings-on. Hursch said she was glad Frappier was home Thursday morning and they would be locking their doors.

At 11:20 a.m., police reopened the street to traffic but remained at the scene.