NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The search continues for a man who allegedly sexually assaulted a woman as she walked to work in Queens in an area where neighbors say they usually feel very safe.
It happened around 6:22 a.m. Sunday.
Police said the 51-year-old woman was walking in the area of Horace Harding Expressway and 168th Street when a man grabbed her from behind, threw her to the ground and raped her.
Sources say the woman, who recently moved to the U.S. from China, was talking to her sister on the phone at the time of the attack. Police said she was choked until she lost consciousness. The woman called her son for help when she came to.
Police said the suspect jumped into a dark blue or black Honda Civic and fled the scene westbound on Horace Harding Expressway.
The victim’s description of the man helped detectives develop a sketch of the suspect, who they describe as a black man between the ages of 35 and 40, about 5’10” tall and 180 pounds. He was seen wearing a dark-colored hooded sweater and dark jeans.
Neighbors say the area is typically very safe, but the block along the expressway where the attack happened can be particularly dark.
“The trucks park there and make a dark view,” resident Jose Villodas said. “Every other street, the lights are brighter than the rest of the lights.”
“With the changing weather it gets darker sooner than expected, and people have to stay vigilant any time you walk in this area over here,” resident Cisco Chen said.
The Queens special victims squad is investigating.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782), visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.