An attack on a Napa, Calif., real estate broker last week by a man wearing a ski mask prompted a multiple listing service in the area to issue an alert to subscribers.

The Santa Rosa, Calif.-based Bay Area Real Estate Information Services Inc. MLS, which serves about 10,000 real estate professionals, stated in a June 23 alert, “An agent has been attacked in the region. A listing agent received a call directly. The caller stated he and his wife were looking for a home and were from out of town and would like to see this house.

“The agent went to the listing to meet them. The caller arrived in a ski mask and brutally attacked her. The police have been contacted and are working on the case. They were able to trace the number he used from the agent’s cell phone records; however, he used a pay phone.”

The MLS alert also recommended safety precautions that real estate professionals can take to help avoid dangerous situations: “Meet clients at the office first. (A real buyer would not mind meeting you at the office then following you to the listing.) Have your cell phone programmed for one-touch local emergency numbers. (Often 9-1-1 calls go to a centralized bureau.) Make sure someone knows where you are, when you will return and who you are with. Above all, if you have a strange feeling, do not ignore it.”

The Napa Valley Register newspaper reported that Kate Hanni, a real estate broker for Fieldstone Real Estate Group in Napa, was attacked by a white male with brown curly hair who wore blue jeans and a navy blue T-shirt.

Hanni reportedly told police that she arrived at a for-sale home in the 100 block of Berna Avenue in Napa at about 2 p.m. on June 21 after she received a call from a man who said he wanted to view the property.

“I heard the front door open and close. I was in the kitchen. I came around the corner and saw this big guy wearing a ski mask about five feet away from me,” said Hanni, according to the newspaper report. The man reportedly grabbed her and she struggled with him and bit his hand. The man then reportedly ran away from the home. Hanni was treated at Queen of the Valley Hospital and released, according to the report.

People with information about the attack can call Napa Police Detective Don Winegar at (707) 258-7879.

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