NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police have released surveillance video in hopes of tracking down a man wanted for sexually assaulting a woman walking home alone in Brooklyn.
The chilling video shows the suspect approach the 27-year-old victim from behind around 2:15 a.m. Thursday near Richmond Street and Kingsland Avenue in the Greenpoint neighborhood.
Police said the man shoved her against a wall and removed her underwear. She fought back, but he knocked her to the ground and sexually assaulted her, police said.
Hours later, residents were shocked to see police canvassing their quiet neighborhood.
“I’m scared and I hope that she’s OK. It’s really unnerving considering this is like a family neighborhood,” Laura Lepre said.
“It’s kind of scary, but I’ve never really been afraid in this area,” said Deborah Doe.
The suspect took off in a dark colored, four-door sedan heading east on Richardson Street.
The victim, who’s originally from Australia and moved to the area four months ago, walked about 1.5 miles to a precinct on Union Avenue to report what happened. She was later taken to the hospital to be treated.
Residents said it’s common for people to walk alone in the area, because of low crime.
“I think that I’m looking at my phone when I’m walking on the street and maybe I should be paying attention a little bit more,” Lepre said. “This is a little bit of a wake-up call.”
“They’re high risk at night, walking around by themselves. There needs to be more cops going around,” said Junior Vascuez.
Jay Trevor, who lives on the Upper West Side but works in the area, called the attack “devastating” and “disgusting.”
“It don’t matter what time it is, it’s just disgusting,” he said. “For somebody to do that, it’s despicable. We need to get more police, more help around here.”
“My heart goes out to her, whoever she is. I hope that she gets the help she deserves, because no one deserves to go through that,” said Latifah Abrams, who also works in the area.
“I usually feel safe any time of night, it could be three, four in the morning, and just walking around, feel totally fine. So yeah, this is really disturbing and weird to see,” Will Clifford said, who said the attack was posted on a neighborhood watch group. “I actually got an email about it, because it’s so rare that anything happens around here. So it seems safe, but obviously this stuff can happen anywhere,” he added.
Police described the suspect as a dark-skinned man wearing dark clothing and work boots. A $2,500 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.