NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD is looking for a man they say tried to sexually assault a woman walking home from work in the Jackson Heights section of Queens early Sunday.
Police say the suspect approached the 35-year-old victim around 4:40 a.m. near the intersection of 74th Street and 37th Avenue and pulled her backwards by her arms before punching her in the back of the head numerous times.
When the victim fell to the ground the suspect dragged her towards a nearby fence where he attempted to rape her, according to police.
The woman managed to fight her attacker off and ran towards 37th Avenue where she flagged down a passing motorist, according to police. She was taken to Elmhurst General Hospital in stable condition with bruising and abrasions to her head and torso.
The suspect was last seen heading northbound on 74th Street with the victim’s purse, according to police.
“I’m very surprised to hear that,” resident Sara Frost tells CBS2’s Erin Logan. “It’s kind of scary. That’s why we chose this neighborhood, because it’s quiet at night.”
Sara and her husband Ben were even more surprised as they heard the details in the alleged assault. Police say the victim had just finished her waitressing shift at a local bar and was walking home at the time of the attack.
“I have no concept of what it’s like to be a woman on the streets late at night in New York City,” Ben said, adding he doesn’t want his wife walking alone anymore.
Sanjoi Bakhrin, who also lives in the neighborhood with his family, agrees.
“It’s really scary,” he said. “We can’t let her walk alone.”
Neighbors tell CBS2 they will make sure everyone knows what happened and will keep an eye out for the suspect, who police describe as a Hispanic male between the ages of 30 and 35, and approximately 5’5″ with a medium build.
He was last seen wearing a white jacket, a green shirt, black shoes, and light colored pants.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74682). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.