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'I am going to die' | Victim fends off attacker in Norfolk sexual assault

FOX61 confirmed the suspect was a Winsted volunteer firefighter.

LITCHFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — A volunteer firefighter was arrested Thursday after he was accused of assaulting a woman in Norfolk.

Just before 7 p.m. Thursday, police were notified about a woman who appeared to be in medical distress. She had been walking in the area of Parker Hill Road.

The caller told state police what she was wearing and troopers were able to find her quickly, police said.

According to investigators, the woman said she had been out on a walk when a man had physically assaulted her, and attempted to sexually assault her.

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State police with help from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) were able to identify the man as 20-year-old Jason Heath.

Heath was taken into custody two and a half hours later and taken to Troop B and charged with first-degree sexual assault, third-degree assault, second-degree breach of peace, second-degree strangulation, first-degree unlawful restraint, and second-degree stalking.

"It is a secluded area," said Trooper First Class Pedro Muniz.

According to a six-page incident report that outlines some graphic details of the investigation, Heath told the victim "I want to rape you" as he was choking her before he suddenly apologized.

Heath gave state police a confession where he described how he kept driving by the victim and that he was, “staring at her thinking she was attractive.” Then Heath hid in the woods, laid behind a rock and struck as the victim passed.

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Heath told police he put her in a chokehold and slammed her against the ground. 

At one point, Heath told police he didn’t realize what he was doing and suddenly came to his senses saying to his victim, “I’m sorry. Promise you won’t report me?”

The victim, who police said fought off her attacker, told officers she started to think, "I am going to die."

Heath lives about 10 minutes from Parker Hill Road in Norfolk where his female victim was seen disoriented and bleeding at about 7 p.m. Thursday. 

"The victim did have injuries," said Trooper Muniz.

The victim is in stable condition. Health’s confession came only after he initially lied to his mother and police about how he got his injuries. He said he was beaten up at nearby Burr Pond. Heath is being held on a $250,000 bond.

FOX61 confirmed that Heath was a volunteer firefighter in Winsted. 

"I was very surprised. Jason was a member of the Winstead Fire Department for just over two years," Winsted Fire Chief James Lagassie told FOX61. "He was always polite and respectful to myself and other members."

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Trooper Muniz offered some safety advice for joggers.

"If you are ever going to go out on a walk and you are going to do it in a rural area just be aware of your surroundings. Try not to do it at night. If it is make sure it’s in a well-lit area and make sure you have your cell phone on you and let somebody know," said Trooper Muniz.

Jennifer Glatz is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at jglatz@fox61.com.  

Matt Caron is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at mcaron@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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