GREAT BARRINGTON — "Lady this is gonna be a rape."
That's what Andrew Gombar allegedly told a woman Jan. 7 after grabbing her arm in the parking lot of a town convenience store.
The woman, who had just finished her shift in the Lipton Mart on Stockbridge Road, was able to pull away from the man — and even snapped a photo of his truck as he drove off, according to Great Barrington Police.
Gombar, 34, of Chatham, N.Y., was arrested two days later in New York, where he is being held pending his return to Massachusetts to face charges.
Details of the attempted assault were revealed in a police report obtained by The Eagle.
Gombar had loitered in and around the Lipton Mart that evening for more than two hours while the woman was working her Sunday night shift at the Subway inside, she told police.
The store's surveillance camera footage corroborates the accounts given by the woman and the store manager.
It shows Gombar coming into the store twice for a short period before returning to his truck.
The woman, who told police she had never seen the man before, said as she was cleaning up just before closing time, she noticed a man inside the store behaving strangely.
"It seemed odd because it felt like he was staring at me the whole time," she said in her statement.
When she closed up and left the store about 10 p.m., she found the man had backed up his truck next to her car, the report said. When she tried to open her door, the man said, "excuse me," and opened his door to block her from fully opening her own door.
"I looked at him thinking that he was going to ask me a question," she told police.
At that point, the woman told police, he grabbed her arm and told her he was going to rape her, the report said. She pushed him away, got into her car and locked it.
She managed to take pictures of his truck as he drove off.
From her photos and other surveillance camera footage in the area, police determined the truck was registered to Gombar.
When Great Barrington Police and New York State Police detectives based in Livingston, N.Y., went to speak to Gombar at his home on Jan. 9, police said, he was wearing the same jacket and hat he was seen wearing in the surveillance video.
Gombar was arrested and charged in Ghent (N.Y.) Town Court with assault with intent to rape, threatening to commit a crime, and assault and battery. He is being held without bail at the Columbia County Jail in Hudson, N.Y., pending his return to Massachusetts, where he will face the same charges.
His arrest was announced Thursday in a press release.
Great Barrington Police Chief William Walsh said the delay was necessary to safeguard the investigation.
"Investigators needed to check out some information and felt that anytime sooner would compromise the case," he told The Eagle.
Heather Bellow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @BE_hbellow and 413-329-6871.