NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)– Police are looking for a man who they say attempted to rape a woman after breaking into her locked bathroom while she was showering.
The 22-year-old woman ran for her life Tuesday morning, out of her apartment building and into a deli in New Dorp Beach, Staten Island.READ MORE: COVID-19 Update: Researchers Say Omicron Variant Could Quickly Outpace Delta Variant In Cases Across The U.S.
“Young lady coming out of the home completely, starkly naked,” New Dorp resident Kenneth Roggio said told CBS2’s Dave Carlin. “She ran into my wife’s arms.”
Roggio said his wife gave the trembling woman a tee-shirt and then they saw a man walk by.
Police said they need to find and question 30-year-old Miguel Felipe about what they call an attempted rape. Neighbors said Felipe rented a room in the same building as the victim.
Police describe them as neighbors and barely acquainted. Investigators said she was in the bathroom that all the tenants share with the door locked when the suspect broke in, grabbed her and choked her. The victim told deli workers the same story after fleeing.
“He choked her, said he’s going to kill her and all that,” deli employee Royce Fernando said.
While some neighbors helped the victim, another tried to catch the suspect who was getting away on foot carrying a duffel bag.READ MORE: Abortion Rights Advocates In Lower Manhattan Voice Concerns Over Roe V. Wade Future
“When he started walking, I said to my brother, ‘Stay here. I’ll be right back i’m gonna follow this guy,'” New Dorp resident Joe Eick said.
Eick said he was driving and on the phone with a 911 dispatcher when he lost sight of him.
The officers who responded are from the 122 precinct station house, about a quarter of a mile away. When they arrived the suspect was gone.
“He might’ve been hiding behind a fence or something, grabbed the bag and ditched,” Eick said.
Neighbors are circulating the suspect’s photo, saying if he returns to the neighborhood he won’t slip away again.
Friends of the victim said she moved out of the apartment the day of the attack and has no plans to return.MORE NEWS: Mount Sinai Nurses Say Hospitals Are Facing Understaffing Crisis: 'Morale Is At An All-Time Low'