Cops Question Suspect In Hamilton Heights Rape

NEW YORK (CBS 2/1010 WINS) — Police were questioning a suspect early Saturday morning in the brutal sexual assault of a City College student.

The development came on Friday afternoon after police spent the previous night and Friday morning hunting for the man who robbed and sexually assaulted a 21-year-old woman in the middle of the day Thursday after following her home.

Police confirmed to CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez and Derricke Dennis early Saturday morning that person of interest is a suspect. However, no arrest has been made and the investigation will likely last through the weekend.

The suspect in the attack made one major mistake when he was caught, plain as day, on surveillance tape at a nearby deli, reports CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman. He was captured on the security cameras outside and inside the building where the woman was attacked, as well as the surveillance camera that caught him about a mile away, police said, using the debit card he stole from the woman he had just allegedly assaulted.

Detectives were pulling in video from cameras across northern Manhattan, tracking the man’s movements.

1010 WINS’ John Montone reports

When he used the ATM card, detectives scrambled to Yousef Ali’s Seven Seas Deli at 135th Street and Eighth Avenue. Ali said he was happy to help police.

“It could be anybody: your sister, mother, cousin, family members,” Ali said. “So I think people should do the right things, and work with the police, and try to do the right things as you’re supposed to be.”

Police said the man caught on camera overwhelmed the 21-year-old college student at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, sexually assaulting her before stealing her debit card.

Residents from all over are on edge.

We’re not safe in our own block where we grew up at,” one woman told 1010 WINS’ Kathleen Maloney.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Kathleen Maloney reports

Jessica Pena lives in the apartment below the woman who was attacked.

“I saw when they were bringing her out downstairs – she was crying, she was hysterical, she was nervous,” Pena said. “Her shirt was all turned up, everything.”

The incident has made other college students in the city apprehensive.

“Well, you’d think you’d be safer in daylight and in your own apartment, but I guess not,” Anastasia Meleties, a student at City College of New York, said.

“I usually don’t walk around with fear,” said Maria Terrero of Harlem.

Neighbors described the area as fairly safe, but it has been tainted by crime recently, including at least seven rapes over the last 15 months. Those attacks were thought to be unrelated.

“They had posters up warning all the students, all the female students to be careful so it’s scary that this is happening again,” said student Brittany Jerez.

“I’m going to be safe and whomever comes in behind me, if I don’t know where they going, I’m not going to let them in the building,” said resident Stacey Milton.

“It really really bothers me.  Of course it’s very disconcerting to hear that what happened here, in broad daylight,” another resident said.

Police said the attacker never showed a gun to his victim, but still they were considering him armed and dangerous and were hoping someone recognizes his face and turns him in.

People who live in the area want him off the streets as well. “I think I’m going to the Community Board and alert them about this and see what can be done,” said Terrero.

CCNY student Latanya Coleman said she hopes that police presence will be increased.

“It’s sad. I mean we need more police I guess,” Coleman said.







  • SK

    whats wrong with most peoples’ comments? Everyone sounds more stupid then the next. Who cares whether its one rapist or many? What if that ONE rapist attacked you? This is not a racial issue, Lets focus on the incident not whether the rape was done by a black or white man. The media is not always accurate, however if you,Sassy, wants to live in denial then go ahead and take the risk of being raped. Besides from more police presence, Local people need to also help out in which ever way they can. Look aroung you, try to help those who are in trouble, speak up if you see/hear soemthing sucpitious.

  • Naz

    Surprise…black man

  • Aceof Spades

    If no one likes the news that is being reported go some place else and read news or just don’t read it at all. Instead of complaining about it go and get your own news corp.

  • Steve

    Catch the piece of filth who did this, and allow his victim to douse him with gasoline and light the match.

    • marge

      Great idea!

  • too upset over this.

    I told you, if you outlaw gun possession, making it nearly impossible to legally carry a firearm for your own protection, then only outlaws will have them. By the way how many carry permits have been issued since the article regarding lowering the gun permit application fee was reported? How much money has been raked in since this idea was promoted by City Hall? This perp should be Dextered

  • Sassy Lou

    THANK YOU Matt W.

    I am so sick of poor reporting and the CONSTANT lack of REAL NEWS INFORMATION by the media in the constant motivation to scare the public. It is irresponsible to connect this incident with the others.

    Next thing you know..the stupid white village people will be on the street with their torches blaming every black man on the street. Stupid!

    I miss public service announcements too along with Saturday morning children public services “Don’t be a yuck mouth”, Time for Timers..and great Schoolhouse Rock!

  • Devenio

    I consider myself a liberal – in some ways. In cases of rape, the perp, once convicted should be castrated. The laws in this country are to weak. One of the reasons I admire the middle East is because of the strict laws. We have allowed the country to become corrupted.

  • Aceof Spades

    just having one rapist is enough. Doesn’t matter how many people are involved. Point is that this is a scary and serious matter. So be easy Matt W.

  • Matt W

    “…at least seven rapes over the last 15 months”

    Six of those rapes were committed by one serial rapist who’s been arrested.

    Stop trying to scare people and tell the whole story!

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