NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD is looking for a man who allegedly sexually assaulted a woman as she walked to work in Queens. It happened in an area that neighbors said is usually very safe.

As CBS2’s Alice Gainer explained, people living near 168th Street in Flushing Meadows can’t believe what happened.

“This is a safe area. We lived here 30 years, never happened,” Mohammad Dakak said.

Early Sunday morning, a 51-year-old woman walking to work was attacked just steps from several homes.

Police said she was walking eastbound along the Horace Harding Expressway around 6:22 a.m. when she was grabbed from behind, thrown to the ground, and attacked. She said the suspect choked her until she lost consciousness.

Police have released a sketch of the suspect.

Rape Sketch

Sketch of the Queens rape suspect. (credit: NYPD)

Sources said the woman moved to the U.S. from China a few months ago and was on the phone with her sister back home when the alleged assault occurred.

She then called her son to meet her, and he reported the incident to police.

“We don’t have that problem. I’ve been here for 30 years,” Jack Blatt said.

Neighbors said it’s a safe area, their only complaint — how dark it can get along one stretch of road.

“Every other street the lights are brighter than the rest of the lights,” Jose Villodas explained.

Neighbors hope police will find the suspect soon.



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