NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are trying to track down a man accused of following a woman into her Brooklyn apartment building and sexually assaulting her late on Easter Sunday.
It happened at around 11:45 p.m. near Underhill Avenue and St. John’s Place in Prospect Heights.
Neighbors in the area are passing around a surveillance video of the suspect released by police, CBS2’s Tara Jakeway reported.
Police said the 27-year-old victim was entering her building when a man standing outside asked her for a lighter. She obliged and then went inside.
The suspect allegedly followed her inside, threw her to the ground and sexually assaulted her. She fought back and he fled.
“When I particularly heard that a sexual assault took place in the neighborhood I was born and raised in, it was really quite concerning because we have a lot of people that I grew up with that are still here that are elders now, who are women and vulnerable,” said community advocate Tony Herbert.
Herbert is sharing the suspect’s description with the people in the community, like David Greenwald.
“If you don’t know somebody, keep you distance and make sure you’re doing the right things,” Greenwald said.
The suspect is described as black or Hispanic, medium to dark complexion, 5-foot-7, 175 to 200 pounds, last seen wearing a dark hooded shirt, Adidas track pants and black sneakers.
Craig Pospisil told Jakeway that he heard about the incident while walking his daughter to camp and is now second guessing everything.
“Horrified. You try to protect your children from something like that, especially girls,” Pospisil said.
“To hear that that happened actually makes me feel a little bit scared,” Ali Adler said.
Adler lives on the block where the attack happened with another young lady, both around the same age as the victim. With the attack hitting close to home, she said she hopes to use it as a teaching moment.
“Ask my neighbors to be a little bit more careful about making sure the doors are shut all the way behind them, making sure they don’t let strangers inside the building,” Adler said.
The victim is recovering and is expected to be OK.
Anyone with information is asked to call NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) for Spanish. You can also submit a tip via the Crime Stoppers website, by Tweeting @NYPDTips or by texting a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577.