NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are looking for a man who they say tried to rape a 30-year-old pregnant woman as she walked her dog in upper Manhattan over the weekend.
The suspect grabbed the woman from behind and tried to take off her clothes during a struggle around 7 a.m. Sunday near West 212th Street in Inwood, police said.
The victim was able to fight off her attacker as a neighbor emerged from a nearby building. The suspect fled the scene, police said.
Those who live and work in the neighborhood said the incident has left them rattled.
“It’s a pretty shocking thing to have something like that happen in the neighborhood,” one resident told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond. “Believe me, this is not the safest neighborhood in the city, but I’ve never seen something so brazen.”
“We need to take kickboxing, karate, whatever to defend ourselves,” said a woman who works nearby.
“I’ve been here in the neighborhood since I was 13 years old and nothing ever happened like that,” Roxanne Rosales told CBS 2’s Alice Gainer.
“I’ve been here since 1970 and I have yet to see a crime of this type of magnitude happen, especially in broad daylight like that,” Thomas Graham added.
Police have released surveillance video that shows the suspect following the woman before grabbing her from behind.
With all the security cameras posted neighbors said they couldn’t believe someone would even try something in the area, but also added they’ll be keeping an eye out from now on.
“Usually a lot of women like to hang out in front of the building and chill out. It’s usually not that kind of place around here,” Manuel Montero said.
The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 25 to 30 years old, standing about 5-foot-11 and weighing 180 pounds. Police said he was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, blue denim shorts and a brown or red baseball cap.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).
The public can also submit tips to the Crime Stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
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