NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD says a 74-year-old woman using a walker was attacked by a man who they say tried to rape her in the Bronx.
It happened Friday night inside an apartment building near East 161st Street and Park Avenue in the Morrisania section of the borough.
Investigators say the woman unknowingly followed the suspect into an elevator. In surveillance video, her walker is visible behind the man, who appears to be talking on a cell phone.
Police said the victim knew something was wrong when the man followed her off the elevator on the 11th floor, asking him if he lived in the building.
As she approached her apartment door, police said the man attacked, putting her in a choke hold in the hallway. Police said he groped the woman before she was able to bang on a neighbor’s door for help. Investigators say it was the neighbor’s screams that sent the suspect running.
Throughout the attack, the woman asked, “why me, why are you doing this,” but he never gave an answer, CBS2’s Magdalena Doris reported.
Neighbor Angel Oliveras says he spoke with the victim Wednesday.
“She said he tried to go into her purse and he went on top of her,” he said. “She’s traumatized — she’s messed up, man.”
Residents of the NYCHA senior citizens building say it isn’t safe or secure and that the entrance is never locked.
“They leave the rock over there and that let’s everybody in,” one person said. “I take it off, but they put it there again.”
Those alerted by wanted flyers of the suspect are urging police to make a speedy arrest.
“I hope they get him cause it can happen to me too,” said resident Bernice Frimpong.
Oliveras says he’s be just as happy with street justice.
“If I catch you myself, forget the police man,” he said.
Police describe the suspect as a 20-year-old black man, about 5’7″ tall who was wearing a black baseball hat, two-toned Jordan sneakers, a black short-sleeved shirt and black shorts.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or for Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA (74782), visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or text tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.