NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The NYPD wants your help finding the man who sexually assaulted a teenager at knifepoint in a bathroom at a Brooklyn park.
“I’m really shocked. I mean, this has always been a safe park for kids, and I wouldn’t expect something like that to happen here,” said babysitter Sherry Williams. Williams frequents Martin Luther King, Jr. Playground, but after hearing a sexual assault was reported there, she’s rethinking whether she’ll return.
“It’s disturbing and makes me not want to come here anymore,” Williams said.
The NYPD says an 18-year-old girl was walking from the train station at around 8:20 a.m. Monday and stopped in the bathroom located in the park along Miller and Dumont Avenues.
When leaving the bathroom, police say a man forced the woman back in, pulled out a knife, and then sexually assaulted her.
The suspect ran off, but police released surveillance video of him taken just prior to the incident.
“I came home, I saw the park was taped off. Police, cops were there, to my surprise to find out someone was raped early morning in a park. I mean, that’s a park were all the kids in the community go,” said East New York resident Wesley Daguiar.
“I got little brothers and sisters, so I don’t like stuff like that. So it’s a lot to take in, you know,” said neighbor Jahleel Jones.
For most of the morning, a police car could be seen circling the park, which is what many neighbors are now calling for, CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reported.
“At first, people probably say ‘Oh, too much police presence.’ But now, in my opinion, I think it’s probably better to just station a cop in the park, because that’s crazy,” Daguiar said.
It’s unclear if the incident is the reason for the police presence, but the search for the suspect is still underway.
Neighbors say the attack is a scary reminder to pay attention to your surroundings.
The victim was taken to the hospital where she was treated for her injuries.
Anyone with any information is asked to call NYPD’s Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via the Crime Stoppers website or by texting a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577.
All calls are confidential.