NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There were some horrifying moments over the weekend for a 26-year-old woman from Astoria.
She told police she was sexually assaulted on the street, and then hours later woke up to find that same stranger in her bedroom, CBS2’s Christina Fan reported.
It was a night of absolute terror for the woman. Her roommate told Fan she woke up early Saturday morning to find a man who had accosted her earlier hovering over her bed, watching her as she slept.
“I heard her scream and she was like, ‘Did you hear someone come in?’ And I didn’t because I was fast asleep,” a man named John said.
John said his roommate was scared and distraught. It turns out, the suspect had been following her for some time.
“It’s an invasion of privacy. Someone you don’t really know well comes into your room with the intent to probably harm her,” he said.
Police said the suspect’s first contact with the victim happened about two hours earlier, before 3 a.m. when she was down the street outside. He approached her, pretending like he needed medical assistance and then grabbed her chest.
Neighbors told Fan they are horrified by the suspect’s brazenness.
“You always have to be cautious about your surroundings, especially when you see someone new in the neighborhood that you’re not really familiar with,” Cynthia Archila said.
Detectives said the victim then ran inside her home near 23rd Avenue and 24th Street, but the suspect found his way inside.
Neighbors told Fan the victim lives on the second floor and that the suspect not only climbed onto the balcony to get in, but also removed an air conditioning unit.
“She had her bra hanging up because she rinsed it out. And it was hanging I think out here, I’m not sure. He took her bra and ran away,” a neighbor said.
Police said nothing was taken from the home, but the sense of security on the block is now lost.
“I mean, it’s disgusting. People can’t even walk. Now we are all afraid to open our windows,” the neighbor said.
Police released a sketch of the suspect, described as Hispanic, approximately 30 years old, 5-foot-8, 180 pounds, with close-cut short, dark hair, and last seen wearing a black T-shirt.
Police said the suspect is wanted for forcible touching as well as burglary
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.