NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Sources told CBS 2 police were questioning a man Thursday evening after a woman said she someone tried to sexually assault her in a restroom at Inwood’s Fort Tryon Park.
As 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported, shortly after noon, a man walked into the women’s bathroom at Anne Loftus Playground inside the park, dropped his pants and grabbed a woman.
The victim screamed and the man ran off, possibly leaving a hat on the footpath leading away from the bathroom in the process, TV 10/55’s Lou Young reported.
The victim was taken to the hospital in an ambulance, but appeared to be unharmed.
The NYPD was using its K-9 Unit to try to follow the scent of the suspect.
Sources told CBS 2 police from the 34th Precinct picked up a person of interest nearby, but so far no charges have been filed.
Woman Grabbed In Attempted Sex Assault In Inwood Park Restroom
The playground is at the northern end of the park, near Broadway and Dyckman Street on the cusp of Washington Heights and Inwood. People who frequent the park told CBS 2 they’ve noticed an increase in crime around the neighborhood.
“Unfortunately, hearing about crimes like this, they have been happening in this area. So it’s a definite rising concern,” said Inwood resident Max Quinlan.
“I don’t think anybody should feel unsafe in this neighborhood, especially using a restroom so close to a playground right here in the park,” said Inwood resident Siri Howard.
Carey Brown, who lives across the street from the park, told D’Auria she never allows her young daughter to go into the bathroom alone. She said she won’t stop using the park, but will be more vigilant.
“I think in general, over the 20 years I’ve been here, it’s gotten safer. I do think there’s a lot more that could be done to keep kids safe here and the biggest thing is having more PEP officers,” she said.
PEP officers patrol the city’s parks on foot and on horseback.
Dawn, however, said she doesn’t think more officers will solve anything.
“I think the problem is existent and with the police presence it helps to sort of quiet the problem, but not exactly solve the problem. The minute the police go away and do whatever else they need to be doing, then the problem comes back,” she said.
In 2011, the Parks Department increased security in the neighborhood’s parks after a series of sexual attacks.
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