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

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

Police carrying rifles and wearing bulletproof vests descended on the short street connecting Front Street and College Avenue. They blocked the street to traffic and pedestrians as they searched for the attacker and spoke to witnesses.

Around 11 a.m., Massey said police had secured the seven-unit apartment building and the attacker was not inside. At 11:20 a.m., police opened the street to traffic but remained at the scene.

Earlier, police released a radio alert to be on the lookout for a white man wearing a red bandanna and black T-shirt and armed with a hammer and a handgun.

Deputy Police Chief Bill Bonney said police have responded to reports about the apartment building nine times since May.

“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.

A woman who said she lives in Apartment 1 on the first floor, where the attack occurred, said she was entering the building earlier when the man later identified as the attacker also entered, but she did not recognize him.

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

She said she did not see the attack, but her friend did and told her about it.

“Some guy just came looking for my cousin – said he took his money,” the woman 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. “I’ve never seen him before.”

Brandon Frappier, 21, who lives on the corner of College Avenue and Union Street, said his stepmother, Anne Hursch, woke him up Thursday morning because 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).”

Amy Calder can be contacted at 861-9247 or at:

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Twitter: @AmyCalder17