UNIONDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Some Long Island commuters were on edge Tuesday, as police searched for the man who groped a young woman who was waiting for an early morning bus.
CBS2’s Erin Logan reported police have good surveillance images they hope will lead to a quick arrest.
As it turns onto Uniondale Avenue in Nassau County, the N43 bus often passes by a stop at Hampton Road, because except for rush hour, there are few commuters on the route.
But police said one day last month around 7:30 a.m., a man approached a 24-year-old woman getting on the bus to work. Police said the unidentified man first tried to take cellphone video beneath the victim’s skirt before grabbing and aggressively groping her.
Nearby neighbor Lisa Lombardo was shaken by the attack, since she takes the bus to get to work every day.
“It’s not safe now,” said Lombardo, of Roosevelt. “I’m going to take my boyfriend out with me because I usually take the 4:52 in the morning, so I’m often out here by myself.”
Surveillance cameras inside a neighboring strip mall failed to capture the suspect’s image, since police said he turned down a side street passing the homeowner’s camera.
Police said the suspect can be seen walking to the bus stop at the time of the attack and then fleeing in a white four-door Honda Accord.
Catherine Hernandez, 19, said she is frequently accosted on the street in the crime-plagued neighborhood.
“It’s happened before, in which I usually got to a point of authority, or just openly yell at the man to make him feel embarrassed,” said Hernandez, of Uniondale.
If truly threatened, Hernandez said she would simply run away calling for help. But neighbor Barbara Johnson, 70, said vulnerable women using the bus stop need to be prepared.
“Protect yourself, like with Mace or a spray like that,” she said. “Carry something for protection.”
Meanwhile, Nassau County police are stepping up patrols looking for the alleged groper, who is described as Hispanic and in his 20s, standing 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing 170 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt, blue jeans, and black sneakers.