Reporting Marla Diamond
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Women on the Upper East Side are on edge after a 25-year-old woman told police she escaped being raped on the street last week just blocks from where an 85-year-old woman was sexually assaulted and robbed on Memorial Day.
The younger woman was attacked on 90th Street and Lexington Avenue around 5 a.m. on May 22 as she stopped to pull out the key to her building.
A nearby doorman heard her screams and ran to help her. The attacker fled the scene.
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Police confirmed they are investigating the attack. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the description of the suspect is different from the individual sought in Monday’s attack, but no details have been released.
Upper East Side resident Yalda Bahari told CBS 2′s Pablo Guzman worrying about one attacker was bad enough, but to now find out there are two dangerous individuals out there is almost too much to bear.
“I think anywhere you are, you gotta be careful. I live in the neighborhood, so it’s a little upsetting to hear that,” Bahari said.
Added resident Doris Weisberg: “It doesn’t make me more relaxed, I can tell you that. Of course it does. Yes, it does make me more nervous.”
“It’s about protecting yourself and making sure you’re with somebody,” Hanna Klein told CBS 2′s John Metaxas.
The NYPD has released new, clearer surveillance video of the suspected sexual predator wanted in the brutal attack of an 85-year-old woman. Police said the suspect attacked the elderly victim as she was walking on East 83rd Street near Madison Avenue early Monday morning. He quickly escaped and police now know why.
“He then goes eastbound and goes into the subway station at East 86th Street and Lexington Avenue,” Commissioner Kelly said, describing what’s shown on the video.
“We’ve gotten 11 tips on our hotline and we are investigating all of them.”
The suspect is a tattooed man in his 20s, 5-foot-9 and wearing a white tank top. The suspect has tattoos on both arms: on his left arm they run from his elbow down to his wrist, on his right arm they go from his shoulder down to his elbow, police said.
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Police said he dragged the woman into a doorway, stole her jewelry and assaulted her.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer is enlisting the public’s help in catching the suspect.
“People are calling. People are taking a look at the picture,” he said. “We now want to flood the zone.”
Kelly said there is a $12,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.
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There is a sense of anger and disbelief among residents of this well-to-do neighborhood. Manny Farcas is a senior citizen.
“It proves me wrong. I always say that I’m too old for them to bother, but obviously not,” said Farcas. “It’s obviously someone very, very sick.”
“You feel a little more nervous now, a little bit extra caution,” Laurie Margolies added.
The victim is recovering at a nearby hospital.
Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).