NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police were on alert and residents on edge Monday following three separate sexual assaults on women in one community.
Police said the predator, armed with a knife, was captured on surveillance camera as he sexually attacked a woman in Washington Heights, reports CBS 2’s John Slattery.
In a similar attack in Inwood, all police had to work with was a sketch.
“Now we have another disturbing crime against women in this particular park,” State Sen. Adriano Espaillat said.
Senator Espaillat was joined by several city council members as he asked for increased police protection in the neighborhood. The descriptions of the attacker varied, but each of the attacks happened in the same area of Upper Manhattan.
“Now I have to be walked home or take a cab,” one wary resident said.
It was early Sunday at Broadway and 184th Street where a 32-year-old woman was accosted by a man who grabbed for her underpants.
On Saturday, surveillance video captured a man just a block away at Bennett Avenue and 184th Street who had just attacked a 37-year-old woman inside an apartment building, police said.
The woman was held at knifepoint, sexually assaulted and robbed. The attacker is believed to be shorter than the suspects in the other attacks, between 5-foot-3 and 5-5 and in his early 20s.
“It’s scary for me,” one resident said. “I’m definitely going to be calling my fiancé and asking him to keep a watch out for me on the way home.”
Another attack happened near the ball fields at Inwood Hill Park on Friday evening. Police said a man in his 30s forced a 28-year-old woman to a secluded area, where he sexually assaulted her. Police said they have a sketch of a man who rode off on a red mountain bike.
The suspect in Friday’s attack was described as an Hispanic man between the ages of 30 and 35, around 5-7 to 5-9, and weighing nearly 180 pounds.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers’ website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to CRIMES (274637), then entering TIP577.