NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The hunt is on for a man police say assaulted at least two women in Brooklyn.
As CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported, within two hours Thursday morning the man allegedly followed two different victims into their apartment buildings. Both managed to fight him away, and now the NYPD wants him off the streets before he strikes again.
Police say the suspect first followed a 22-year-old woman into her apartment building on Albany Avenue and Sterling Place around 2 a.m. Thursday. After pushing his way past her front door, authorities say he put his hand over her mouth and dragged her down the floor.
He groped her and threatened to kill her with a knife, but the women fought back — spraying him with mace before kneeing him in the groin, prompting the suspect to flee.
Just an hour and a half later, police say the same man followed a 32-year-old woman into her apartment on Pacific Street and Nostrand Avenue — less than a mile from the first assault — and proceeded to do the same.
He covered her mouth and dragged her to the ground, but the second woman fought back as well. Police say she punched and kicked the suspect until he fled.
The attack has residents terrified.
“Every morning I walk around here but it’s scary,” Yvette Williams said. “You gotta be careful who’s walking by you.”
“That scares me because I work late, I come home late, so I’m scared of coming home late because of that, living around here,” Mariyah Lewis said.
“Everything about the neighborhood is scary now these days,” another woman added. “You can’t be outside, just have to be in the house.”
Authorities say neither woman were seriously injured in the pair of brazen assaults. The second victim told police she smelled a chemical substance on her attacker’s hands when he covered her mouth, which investigators believe was the mace from his scuffle with the first victim.
“It’s something really wrong with these people,” resident Joyce Peoples-Clark said. “I hope the person or people you’re speaking of, they catch him.”
The suspect has been described as a black male in his 20s, between 6’0″ and 6’2″ with a goatee. He was last seen wearing a black t-shirt with white lettering, light blue jeans, a black baseball cap, and white sneakers.
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.