NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police in Brooklyn were searching Wednesday night for a man who allegedly attacked and robbed a teenage girl – after he followed her and her 2-year-old brother home.
CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported on the terrifying story in Crown Heights.
“I know he won’t remember it, but I feel like I’ve done something right as a big sister,” said Whitney Pierre-Paul, 16.
Pierre-Paul is big sister to 2-year-old Isaiah, and she said being protective of him is her most important job.
It was around 10 p.m. Wednesday, May 3, when she got off the train at the Franklin Avenue/Botanic Garden subway station after picking up her brother from a relative’s home.
As Pierre-Paul walked up the stairs holding her brother’s hand, a strange man followed them, said her little brother looked tired, and picked him up before she had a chance to stop him.
“That’s when I became alert,” Pierre-Paul said.
Police said the suspect appeared in surveillance pictures wearing a Superman hat.
As Pierre-Paul got closer to home, three blocks from the station, she got more nervous about the man’s intentions. She decided it was best to stay friendly and calm.
“I was just like, ‘All right, you can put him down, you can put him down.’ He was like, ‘No, I’ll walk you; make sure you’re fine,’” Pierre-Paul said.
Once she reached her door at Franklin Avenue and Carroll Street, she’d had enough.
“This is when I wasn’t asking. I was telling him. ‘Put my brother down,’ and he was just like, ‘Can I make a phone call?” she said, “and I said, ‘Put my brother down and I will let you make a phone call.’”
The man let go of Isaiah and she got him quickly inside the door. Before she could get in, the man pushed his way in – knocking her to the floor.
“The guy noticed that she’s not going to give him the house phone, he pushed the door with his feet and went inside and then he wanted to fight her and everything,” Pierre-Paul’s mother, Christina Saint Hilaire, told CBS2’s Erin Logan. “It’s terrible.”
Police said he punched the girl in the face numerous times and even choked her briefly.
“She was fighting him, calling for help but nobody came to help,” Saint Hilaire said. “At least call the cops or do something.”
“He choked me like this and he pulled my neck towards him because he was on top of me,” Pierre-Paul said. “I was scared, but not for myself, like, I didn’t want nothing to happen to my brother.”
She screamed and the man eventually left, taking her cellphone and laptop.
The teen ran outside and borrowed someone else’s phone to call for help.
“She said, ‘The house got robbed,’ the minute she told me that I got off the train and ran and took a cab to come home,” Saint Hilaire said.
Pierre-Paul was taken to NYC Health + Hospitals /Kings County after the attack. Her brother was not hurt.
“I’m very upset because that’s never happened I’ve been living in this building for five years I never have any problem,” she said.
Saint Hilaire said her daughter has been terrified to walk around the neighborhood, and even afraid to go to school.
She added she won’t be able to sleep until police track down her daughter’s attacker. She’s even considering moving out of the neighborhood.
“I don’t want this guy to be out there to attack any other teenager or anybody else,” she said.
Police describe the suspect as a black male, in his 30s, about 5’5″ to 5’7″ tall. He was last seen wearing a black baseball cap with the Superman logo, a black jacket with yellow piping on its arms and grey sweatpants.
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).
The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.