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Rego Park Victim Speaks About Rape; Suspect Sought

Anyone With Information Is Asked To Call Crime Stoppers At 1-800-577-TIPS

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The hunt continued Monday for a man who police said raped a woman after following her from a Queens subway station last week.

The 52-year-old victim spoke with CBS 2’s Lou Young and Steve Langford on Monday, retracing her footsteps a mere three days after being attacked.

“I got pushed down there,” she told Young as she pointed to a staircase on Saunders Street. “I fell. He pushed me. I was tumbling down.”

Around 10 p.m. Friday, the woman was getting out of the Rego Park subway station at 63rd Drive and Queens Boulevard when the suspect began asking for her name and phone number, the victim said.

“I was going out from the subway,” the victim told Langford. “He was behind me … flirting with me. He loves my shoes. ‘Are you a model? You look like a model.’ He was trying to pick me up.”

Rego Park rape victim speaks about assault. (CBS 2)

Rego Park rape victim speaks about assault. (CBS 2)

The woman refused to give him the information and walked into a crowded Rite Aid drugstore across the street, police said. The suspect followed the victim inside and began harassing her, police said.

“He corners me some place in the back, trying to grab me in his arms and kiss me,” the victim said.

A store employee suggested she call the police, but the woman declined. The woman said she regrets her decision not to call police, because the suspect was waiting outside, police said.

He followed her two blocks to a dark street and threw her down the stairs into an alley on Saunders Street, where he raped and robbed her, CBS 2′s Kathryn Brown reported.

“He was on top of me,” the victim said. “He covers … my eyes, my nose, my mouth. I couldn’t see anything. I couldn’t breathe because he was choking me.

“And then I woke up ’cause I guess I blacked out, and I found my jeans … were down. I was bleeding,” she added.

Building manager Eric Acosta said he was among the first to hear the woman screaming and ran outside to help her.

“I heard her scream for help,” Acosta said. “She was screaming, but by the time I got there, she was alone, and it wasn’t a nice scene to see.”

Neighbor Adrian Ionas also helped the woman after the attack.

“I was coming down out of the building; I hear the screaming,” Ionas said. “She was in shock — definitely in shock. And then they put her up in the ambulance, and they took her off.”

The victim was left with bruises on her arms, cuts on her legs, and marks on her face. But she said she will not surrender the streets of her neighborhood out of here.

“I’m coping with it – coping,” she said. “I have to get through this. I can’t stay home; I can’t be a recluse.”

The suspect is described as a black male in his 20s, standing about 5-foot-7 with a mustache, police said. The suspect told the victim his name was “Junior,” according to police.

Police have released a surveillance video of the suspect entering the Rite Aid store.

Surveillance cameras posted at an apartment building near the scene of the attack may have caught the suspect on video as well, Brown reported.

The building superintendent said police have taken possession of the video and are trying to digitally enhance it, Brown reported.

Acosta said he watched the video and was disturbed to see several people walk by without stopping while the attack was happening.

“A couple people walked by, and no one was able to stop and help,” Acosta said.

Anyone with information was asked to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, log onto the Crime Stoppers Web site, or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and enter TIP577.

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