NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police Saturday evening were on the hunt for a suspect who allegedly followed and raped a woman in the Rego Park section of Queens.
The 52-year-old woman was getting off the R Train at the 63rd Drive-Rego Park station around 10 p.m. Friday, when the suspect began asking for her name and phone number, police said.
The victim refused to give him the information, and walked into a Rite Aid drugstore at 93-14 63rd Dr., police said. The suspect followed the victim inside and began harassing her inside the drugstore, police said.
The suspect then left the store, but waited outside for the victim, police said. The victim then walked to an address on Saunders Street, where the suspect grabbed her, threw her down a flight of stairs, and raped her, police said.
The suspect then stole the victim’s cell phone and purse as she screamed and kept screaming, police said. The victim was taken to an area hospital in an unknown condition.
Neighbor Adrian Ionas helped the woman after the attack.
“I was coming down out of the building; I hear the screaming,” Ionas said. “She was in shock — definitely in shock. And then they put her up in the ambulance, and they took her off.”
A woman walking with her cousin Saturday evening told 1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten she was stunned.
“This area is really – it’s not like that,” she said. “It’s weird how something like that would happen, because I’ve been living here for the past, like, 20 years. It’s not like this.”
As CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported, many other residents were likewise horrified upon hearing about the attack.
“He followed her out of the train station and around the corner — that is very scary. And he was in Rite Aid with the woman,” said Mia Smith. “I’m terrified. I live in Rego Park.”
“He probably had targeted his victim and, you know, knew how to maneuver which is very frightening,” said Alan Austin of Rego Park.
The suspect was described as a black male in his 20s, standing about 5 feet 7 inches tall with a mustache, police said. The suspect told the victim his name was “Junior,” according to police.
Police have released a surveillance video of the suspect entering the Rite Aid store.
Because the victim ran into the store, investigators were able to get their best piece of evidence they have the suspect clear as day on the surveillance video.
Anyone with information was asked to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS, log onto the Crime Stoppers Web site, or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and enter TIP577.
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