Ritzy Upper East Side Neighborhood Shocked And Appalled At Incident

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A manhunt continued Tuesday for a man who allegedly sexually assaulted an elderly woman on the Upper East Side.

The terrifying ordeal took place smack dab in the heart of one of New York’s toniest neighborhoods.

Surveillance video shows the male suspect dragging a woman in a headlock along the sidewalk on East 83rd Street off Madison Avenue, a block from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Moments later, police said, the suspect forced the 85-year-old victim to perform a sex act in the stairwell.

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Police said the male suspect grabbed the woman during her walk at about 5:40 a.m. Monday.

“It happened so quickly and so briefly. Just a couple of seconds and that was it,” doorman Rolando Colombani said. “We don’t know if he had a weapon, really don’t know. Took her right there, did what he did real quick, cause it was like a few minutes.”

When asked if the suspect was following the victim, Colombani said, “I believe so because she came from around the corner.”

The suspect was described as a 25-30-year-old light-skinned male Hispanic, around 5-foot-10, wearing a white tank top, and with tattoos on his arms.

The suspect also allegedly robbed the woman of a gold ring she’s had for more than 50 years.

The attack and subsequent police presence has residents in the upscale neighborhood nervous.

“Eighty-five. Who can believe this absurdity? Madness in the streets of New York.  Find this person immediately,” Upper East Side resident Linda Peterson Warren told CBS 2’s John Slattery.

“If you can’t be safe taking a walk in your neighborhood, there isn’t anywhere to hide. There’s nowhere to go,” said resident Ina Torton.

“It’s very scary,” said resident Alicia Torton. Asked if this will change her routine or how she goes out, she answered: “Yeah, I’m not going out when nobody is around.”

A woman named “Sheila” told CBS 2’s Slattery she lives in the same building as the victim, some three blocks from where the attack took place.

“I know she volunteered at the Metropolitan Museum at one time and at Sloan Kettering. We chatted, lovely woman,” Sheila said.

Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

If a suspect is caught and convicted of a sex assault on an 85-year-old, what’s the appropriate punishment? Will this story make you change your everyday routine? Sound off in our comments section below…

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