PATCHOGUE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police are asking for the public’s help in finding a man wanted in connection with a sexual assault and robbery in Patchogue.
Police said the suspect came up behind a 24-year-old woman who was walking on Main Street at around 3:15 a.m. Saturday and dragged her into a wooded area between West and River avenues.
The victim was physically assaulted, robbed and sexually abused, police said.
She was treated for a broken nose and numerous cuts and bruises, police said.
Authorities have released surveillance images of the suspect. Detectives said Main Street was crowded Friday night into Saturday morning and believe numerous people may have encountered the suspect either before or after the alleged attack.
The suspect is described as a tall light-skinned Hispanic or black male, with a thin build in his 20s. He was wearing a black t-shirt, dark colored jeans and a wool ski type hat.
Security guards at Long Island’s Briarcliff College were on alert following the attack, which happened only steps from the South Shore campus — an area previously considered safe, CBS 2’s Lou Young reported.
“It scares me, though. It definitely scares me,” neighbor Elizabeth Porcillo said.
“My mother lives down the block. I have friends that come to my house and walk the streets to go to the bars. It’s not fair to anyone out here,” neighbor Jose Tores added.
The area is known for having lost of college kids roaming all over the place, police are certain someone must have seen the suspect, Young reported.
“It was a weekend night. There are people who frequent the area on the weekends and we’re hoping someone might have seen this individual in the vicinity,” Suffolk County Police Deputy Inspector Ted Nieves said.
The merchant who turned over surveillance video to police said the victim apparently sensed something was about to happen.
“You can see in the video she looks back. She looks back and on the next video clip he looks back to see if someone’s following,” store owner Jim Almonte said.
Detectives are asking anyone with information on this case to call the Fifth Squad at 631-854-8552 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.
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