NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Fears were running high in Sunset Park, Brooklyn Monday, as an attempted rapist remained on the loose.
As CBS2’s Ilana Gold reported, police said the man held a knife to the victim’s throat while he undressed and touched her.
Surveillance video showed the suspect wearing a gray hooded sweat shirt when he casually sneaked behind the victim, after she opened the locked door of her building on 50th Street near Ninth Avenue in Brooklyn around 11:45 p.m. Saturday.
The suspect had followed the victim for several blocks, 1010 WINS reported Sunday. He reportedly told the victim he lived in the building, so she let him in.
The suspect is seen glancing right at the camera system seconds before his alleged attack. Police said when the 29-year-old woman made it down the hall to the elevator, he tried to rape her.
“I was shocked,” said Anna Vieni, whose mother lives in the building.
Police said the suspect pulled a knife and placed it up to her neck. He then allegedly touched the woman’s buttocks and removed her pants and undergarments and touched her midsection.
He also choked her until she felt she was about to faint, 1010 WINS reported Sunday.
After the suspect left, the shaken-up woman was treated at an area hospital for minor injuries.
Police have been searching through surveillance footage across the neighborhood to figure out how long he may have tracked her steps.
“I’m afraid for my mom,” Vieni said, “because she’s 91.”
Vieni and her brother showed up at the building on Monday after learning for the crime, concerned for their mother’s safety.
“If someone like this ever goes up to her apartment, she’s helpless,” said Vieni’s brother, Elizer Gonzalez.
Police told people in the area to be careful of their surroundings. They said when walking into their homes, people should look behind them to see if someone is following them in, and if buzzing someone in, people ought to make sure they know who it is.
“We’re going to tell her to have people call,” Vieni said. “If they’re going to visit, call first. Let them know they’re coming, and she’ll let them in.”
Tenants on Monday were being extra careful, and were on the lookout for the suspect in case he comes back and possibly targets someone else.
Of the assailant, Gonzalez said: “He’s despicable, you know. He’s a low life. He should be behind bars.”
Police were also keeping a close watch on the neighborhood trying to track the suspect down. They were offering a $2,500 reward for any information leading to an arrest.
The suspect is described as a light-skinned male, around 5-foot-10, slim build, and wearing a dark-hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.
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 (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.