RAHWAY — Authorities asked Union County residents to be on alert after a man broke into at least three homes early Friday morning and sexually assaulted a 67-year-old woman.

The reported break-ins and assault happened within close proximity on Hazel Place and East Hazelwood Avenue between 4:30 and 5 a.m.

Police responded to the first report about 4:30 a.m. after a homeowner spotted the man in the hallway outside his bedroom. Police said the man had gotten in through a second-floor window.

Residents of another home called police moments later after being awakened by a noise outside their house. The man ran off after residents yelled out when they saw him try to get through a rear sliding-glass door.

The sexual assault victim said she woke up on the couch to find the man on top of her. The woman was hospitalized with minor injuries, which prosecutors did not publicly describe. Police said the man got into the woman's East Hazelwood home through a back door.

Victims described the assailant as a black man with a medium complexion, in his late 20s or early 30s and a medium build. He was seen wearing a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt and pants.

Prosecutors ask anyone with information to call Rahway Police Detective Andrew Webb at 732-669-3613.