NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — On Friday, the NYPD was canvassing Windsor Terrace, where another sex assault bumped the total to 20 in Brooklyn since March.
“I think it would have been less scary if it were one man, but since there are like six or eight or 10, it’s very like overwhelming because you don’t know who it is,” resident Karen Capistran told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey.
The latest attack happened Thursday night near a Windsor Terrace park, at 7th Avenue and 18th Street. Police said a young woman walking with a German Shepard was groped by a man who claimed he had a knife.
“I’m shocked that this man is bold enough to approach someone with an animal, with a pet, especially a pet that could attack him,” said Meagan Dwyer of Windsor Terrace.
“I don’t feel safe in my neighborhood anymore, and I don’t understand if they think it’s a joke or what,” said Stacey Sperling of Windsor Terrace.
When the woman screamed, the dog jumped on the man and he ran off.
“Very dangerous. We’re so scared,” said Rosie Velez of Kensington.
“I mean it’s the subway, it’s New York. There’s a lot of people here,” said an incredulous Brylee Plyshebsky of Kensington.
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Police have found similarities in a half dozen attacks that took place on the subway, the F line in particular, where women were attacked on the platform, walking up the stairs, or at the turnstiles.
“Outrageous. Makes me want to run,” said resident Gabriella Aguilera.
The sexual assaults began in March with the horrific screams of a woman fighting off her attacker, yet six months later only one suspect has been arrested, 26-year-old Adolfo Martinez, on charges of sex abuse in the 3rd degree for allegedly groping an 18-year-old woman in Sunset Park.
Police believe at least three more suspects are still out there.
“I’m worried. I’m definitely more aware when I walk home at night. It hasn’t particularly scared me that much,” said Katherine Young of Sunset Park.
The pattern of assaults led some women to change their habits so they don’t become the 21st victim.
“Not walking around later at night, you know, usually walking with someone else, carrying something that I could possible use as a weapon,” said Ellie Kirk of Sunset Park.
Police are offering a reward of $12,000 for information leading to arrest and conviction of the suspect – or suspects involved in the attempted rapes and groping incidents. Police urge anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS. All calls are kept confidential, and tipsters can be kept anonymous and be paid by code number.
What can be done to stop the string of sex assaults? Sound off in our comments section.