NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Brooklyn neighborhood is on alert after a woman was viciously attacked.
The shocking March 20 attack was captured on a surveillance camera. The victim’s blood-curdling screams can be heard ringing out on a silent night, shaking residents out of their beds in Park Slope.
“Help me! Please, someone help me!” the woman yells. “Get off of me!”
The video shows the woman fighting off her attacker after he grabs her from behind and the terror in her voice is undeniable.
“The screams is what got you. It made you jump right away. It was like real, piercing screams,” Don Harrington, who lives across the street from where the attack took place, told CBS 2′s Hazel Sanchez. “It was terrifying, you knew somebody was in trouble with those screams.”
The video shows the man who owns the brownstone with the security camera running out of his home, scaring away the attacker.
“I ran out without even my shoes, just got my pants on and got the heck out there,” the homeowner, who asked not to be identified, said. “She saved herself, she’s the one that got us out there. Thank God we did. Hopefully she’s alright, because we don’t even know who she is.”
Harrington also ran out of his house to try to help the woman but when he got outside she was running away, as was the thug, who is seen pulling up his pants, who jumped her.
“You wish you could see everybody like that get locked up. You don’t want to see anyone like that run around that’s gonna hurt somebody,” Harrington said.
Police are still hunting down the suspect. Some neighbors are nervous the attacker is still on the loose.
“I totally take my safety for granted in this neighborhood. And it’s very disturbing that this could happen right next to my door,” Isabel Duke said.
The video clearly shows a crime was attempted. There’s a potential victim and an aggressive attacker. What’s not clear is why it took police so long to investigate. Neighbors told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis the cops didn’t care.
“Basically there’s a sense that the police aren’t going to do anything. And that encourages this kind of crime,” neighbor Mirem Vilamil said.
“The first time I heard about it was this morning when I actually asked your cameraman why you were here. Then, half an hour later, there’s a cop knocking on my door,” another neighbor said.
NYPD detectives have now canvassed the neighborhood in search of the suspect. Neighbors said the police were offered the video the day after the attack, but are just now following up.
“Doing anything is doing the right thing. The fact that she was yelling was very effective,” self defense expert Gabrielle Rubin said.
But self defense expert Gabrielle Rubin said the attack could have been stopped cold with a head butt, a fist to the groin, a stomp on the foot, a kick — you know where — or, just screaming the word “fire.”
“That could be my car, that could be my apartment, that could be whatever, so people are definitely more affected by the word ‘fire,’ than the word ‘help,’ unfortunately,” Rubin said.
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