NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A man was caught by police trying to rape a 74-year-old woman Tuesday in the James Weldon Johnson Houses in East Harlem.

As 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported, NYPD housing officers caught the would-be rapist with his pants off, according to police. The 51-year-old suspect was attacking the victim in the elevator in the New York City Housing Authority building at 1840 Lexington Ave.

Officers had to pull the man off the woman, witnesses said.

Police were called by a woman who witnessed the beginning of the attack just before the elevator doors closed.

“He didn’t even acknowledge her and she was screaming at him, saying, ‘What are you doing to her? What are you doing to her?’” said the witness’ mother.

Police actually pried open the elevator door to nab the suspect and rescue the victim, who was taken to a hospital.

The witness’ mother said she is not very surprised it happened in her building.

“There’s stuff going on in the building that shouldn’t be going on,” she said.

The woman said after this, she hopes the broken lock on the front door will be repaired.

The suspect had not been charged, and thus had not been named, as of Tuesday night.

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