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A Pittsburgh woman who had noticed signs of strange activity in her house was shocked to discover that her ex boyfriend, who she had a restraining order against, had been living in her attic for at least three weeks.
The woman, whose name was not disclosed by the press for security reasons, had noticed small things awry in her house for weeks. She was afraid it was her ex-boyfriend, Cary Cocuzzi, but ultimately decided to ignore her fears, thinking she was just being paranoid. On one occasion she noticed the toilet seat left up, which was unusual because she only shared the house with her daughters, and another time she found a blanket on the floor in the basement. She thought about calling the police, but then she reconsidered, thinking she couldn’t just tell them “There’s a blanket in my basement”.
“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 told reporters. “I feel like this is going to affect me for the rest of my life.”
On April 20th, the woman was inside the house when she heard a noise coming from upstairs and decided to investigate. She thought it was just her cat messing around, but when she opened the bedroom door she found her ex-boyfriend standing in the middle of the room. She says Cocuzzi rushed towards her and grabbed her by the face. She was able to fight him off, ran outside and asked her neighbors to call 911.
When police arrived, they found the abusive ex-boyfriend hiding under a pile of clothes, inside the house. He told officers he had been sleeping in the attic because he “was tired of being homeless and wanted a place to stay”. The problem was that the woman had had an active PFA (protection from abuse order) against Cocuzzi, which he had clearly not respected.
Cary Cocuzzi has been charged with burglary and unlawful restraint and is being held in Allegheny County Jail until his court date.
“He did not respect the PFA. Who knows what could’ve happened?” the woman said, adding that she wished she had acted on her instincts when she noticed something was wrong.