A woman who suspected something odd inside her Pittsburgh home discovered her ex-boyfriend had been living in the attic.
Cary Cocuzzi, 31, was arrested in the unnamed woman’s house and charged with burglary and unlawful restraint after she found him standing in the middle of her bedroom, US media reported.
After the encounter, he allegedly grabbed her face before she pushed him away and ran outside screaming, prompting several neighbours to call 911.
Police searched the house and found Cocuzzi hiding under clothes and furniture.
He told officers he was homeless and had been sneaking in and out of the house for about two weeks.
The mother-of-two had been noticing unusual things inside her home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, such as finding a blanket on the floor and the toilet seat left up.
She told Channel 11: “I feel like this is going to affect me for the rest of my life.
“I had an intuition about it but I ignored it, I brushed it aside. I didn’t want to seem paranoid but I should have trusted my instincts, because I was right.”
The woman already had a protection from abuse (PFA) order against Cocuzzi after he tried to sexually assault her in the past, police said.
She added: “Nobody in my home uses the bathroom that way and I didn’t have any visitors so I just thought, gosh, is this guy in my house? This is so strange.
“I knew that blanket had not been there before, I knew it. But what could I do? I already had the PFA against him.”
She said her two daughters were not at home on the night, adding: “He did not respect the PFA. Who knows what could’ve happened?
“He had been in my home while my children were here, while I was here sleeping. You never think this will happen to you.”
It is not known if Cocuzzi has retained an attorney.