NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police were questioning a person if interest late Monday afternoon, after a woman was attacked and robbed a woman inside her own apartment in the Inwood section of Manhattan.
Police sources told CBS2 that a tipster who lives in the neighborhood and saw the story on the news earlier Monday and called police. The tipster said they know who the intruder was, and that he lived just around the corner.
The person of interest was being questioned at the 34th Precinct in Washington Heights late Monday afternoon.
New York State Sen. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan/The Bronx) praised the NYPD for their quick response to the attack.
“I want to thank the 34th Precinct and everyone involved in the investigation for working diligently to protect Upper Manhattan residents,” Espaillat said in a statement. “I will continue to keep in close contact with Deputy Inspector (Reymundo) Mundo and update the community as the investigation progresses.”
As CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported, the attack happened around 9:20 p.m. Sunday in a building at 213th Street and Tenth Avenue in the Upper Manhattan neighborhood.
The 26-year-old victim told investigators she had been on Skype with her husband, who is out of town, when she heard footsteps in the other room. She walked over to find a stranger standing in her home.
She screamed when she found a man in the doorway. She told police he threatened to kill her if she screamed again, Bauman reported.
Authorities said he took a screwdriver to her neck, demanding money and gold as she begged him not to rape her. Police sources said the man tied the woman’s hands behind her back with a pair of her own nylon stockings and the straps from a grocery bag, lay her face down on the bed, and ordered her not to move.
Police said the man forced her to perform sexual acts before stealing cash, electronics and climbing out the window down the fire escape, Bauman reported.
Police say the man took off with a Dell laptop, two cell phones, a debit card and $300 cash.
The victim was taken to the hospital and treated overnight, 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported.
“I’ve got to call my wife now, (and tell her) to lock the door; stay safe,” said neighbor David Romero.
“How are you expected to walk around your neighborhood without looking behind your back in fear that someone’s going to attack you?” said neighbor Melissa Rosario, who won’t be taking any risks this Halloween. “Probably not even opening the door, keeping it shut to make sure me and my child are safe.”
“We have a deadbolt. We have like a bunch of locks on the windows, but I just feel, I mean whoever — that’s just the worst thing,” said neighbor Tom Wolfe.
Detectives have been reviewing security cameras all day and presume the fire escape is how the man also entered the woman’s apartment.
The building superintendent jumped onto the fire escape for detectives, reenacting what might have happened.
“I cut my finger going down,” said building superintendent Porfirio Hidalgo. But he said he was able to do it.
No charges had been filed against the person of interest as of late Monday night.