Hotel clerk fights off attacker

July 11, 2008 3:03:15 PM PDT
Surveiliance video captured a vicious sex attack on a hotel clerk in the Carlstadt section of New Jersey. Police say the woman fought off the attacker who ore off her clothes, nearly bit her finger off and tried to rape her for about 30 minutes.This vicious attack happened at the Hampton Inn in Carlstadt at around 4 a.m. on July 4th.

The tiny, five-foot tall clerk was all by herself. The 23-year-old had to fight for a half-hour, while also hitting a panic button that did not work. Eventually, the woman managed to get away from her attacker and run to a room where she called for help.

"I've just been attacked... a guy from the front desk... please! I'm in a guest room right now. He tried to bite my finger off," she screamed during that call.

Police said the suspect, 52-year-old Kenneth Gough, nearly bit off that finger. The attack was captured by surveillance cameras.

Investigators said Gough was a guest at the hotel and jumped over the desk.

"He wrestled her to the floor. He's trying to tear her clothes off. You see on the video where he actually had her hand in his mouth like a dog," Sgt. David Smith said.

The attack happened at 4:00 in the morning. The victim was working alone, and her only hope for help was a panic button on the wall, but it was not working. She hit it over and over and over again, police said, but never got a response.

At the Hampton Inn, a help wanted sign is now posted for the clerk's position.

"This sort of thing (an attack) never happens, so we are a little bit upset about it," manager Frank Super said.

Police said the suspect has a criminal record. Gough told investigators that he hitchhiked here from Ohio. He faces numerous charges, including attempted rape.

Gough told police he was looking for work as a horse trainer at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

The victim was released from the hospital. Doctors were able to save her finger.

STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Michelle Charlesworth