NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A man accused of attempted rape has turned himself in to police, authorities say.
Police said the attack happened around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday inside a Brooklyn apartment building.
Later that night, investigators released surveillance video showing the suspect in the building near South 2nd and Havermeyer streets in Williamsburg.
Police said he approached the 26-year-old victim inside the first-floor landing, punched her in the back of the head, then climbed on top of her and tried to take off her clothing.
The woman fought back, punching him in the face, police said.
Police said 30-year-old Manuel Almonte turned himself in around 8 a.m. Wednesday after his family saw the video and urged him to come forward.
CBS2’s Tara Jakeway spoke with Almonte’s coworker at C-Town Supermarket, just yards away from the scene of the crime.
“When I saw him, I was a little surprised, I couldn’t believe it until I saw the picture and I realized it was him,” Mareno Reyes said. “He wasn’t a bad guy. He wasn’t that bad, he was quiet.”
Lucilez Jimenez has lived on the block for 22 years and has two children, including a 2-year-old daughter she chose to raise in the same building where she grew up – a place she thought was safe.
“It makes me feel furious, because I’ve been here all my life and I’ve never been through this situation,” she said.
“It is very close to where I live, you know it sucks,” another neighbor Sara Corenzwit said. “Be aware of my surroundings, and if something doesn’t feel right, then get out of there.”
Police said Almonte had one prior arrest for forcible touching in 2012.
Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) for Spanish. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website, on Twitter @NYPDTips or by texting them to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.