NEW YORK (CBS 2) – She survived a sex assault on the streets of Park Slope.
On Thursday night she spoke to CBS 2’s Dave Carlin exclusively about a crime that has her neighborhood on edge and embroiled in controversy. That’s because neighbors say a Good Samaritan chased and caught the sexual predator, only to have police officers let him go.
“They’re definitely going to get the guy,” the 22-year-old victim said.
She said she is angry that the man seen in new video surveillance footage obtained by CBS 2 followed her from the 4th Avenue Station and reached under her skirt, attacking her on the sidewalk on 16th Street.
It was 5:30 a.m. She was almost home after taking her usual route at the end of her work shift at a Manhattan nightclub.
“I didn’t see it coming,” the victim said.
She said she froze for a few seconds, but then she screamed and people came running.
She told Carlin she is grateful to be surrounded by so many Good Samaritans and caring neighbors, including two in particular, the one who made sure she was okay and the other who chased after the suspect.
What happened next, however, has aroused a neighborhood controversy.
Don Harrington came out of his apartment and helped the woman and he said another neighbor chased and caught the suspect almost right away, but the alleged attacker was not thrown in jail.
“So he witnessed the attack and he held the guy until police got there, so it was definitely the right guy,” Harrington said. “They held him eight minutes cause. They didn’t know where the victim was.”
When asked if she harbors any resentment toward the police for letting the suspect go, the victim said: “They did the right thing. They followed protocol. I wasn’t around.
“I don’t blame that at all if they caught the right person and it was him. That’s why people should work with police the best they can.”
She said knowing her neighbors better, becoming aware of new security cameras and bringing her guard up even more has helped boost her confidence that her neighborhood will fight back and catch this and other predators.
More than 20 similar sex attacks have plagued Park Slope’s streets in the past two years. There was no immediate word from police if this latest crime is linked to any of the others.
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