NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police are searching for a man they say raped a 19-year-old woman on the Upper East Side in broad daylight.
The victim got off the subway around 7:30 p.m. Sunday at East 96th Street.
Police said the suspect approached her, saying he was homeless and needed money. He allegedly followed her to East 95th Street and Third Avenue, where he raped her.
Neighbors were shocked to hear something like this could happen while it was still light outside.
“It is just something that shouldn’t be happening in this neighborhood, or any neighborhood in the city,” a resident named Bert said.
“That somebody was raped here at 7:30 — we live in a rape culture, and I think we’re going in the wrong direction with it. It doesn’t feel like we’re progressing right now,” Melanie Flaxer, 26, said.
“It’s horrifying, it’s horrifying, and it’s really a shame that there’s so much desperation,” her mother, Linda Flaxer, added.
One man name Ruben said his daughter rides the subway home alone from school every day.
“I have a daughter who’s 15. My wife, my daughter, it’s tragic. It’s sad… It’s really tragic, it’s unbelievable that these things keep happening to women,” he said. “Really have to step it up.”
Colm O’Mara lives just feet from the crime scene. He has a 12-year-old daughter.
“I have kids, and that’s really, really worrisome. I want to know more details about how it happened and why it wasn’t prevented,” he said.
To protect his daughter, he’s going one step further.
“I’m also going to ask the building where I live, what is our security doing?” he said.
The victim was taken to the hospital in stable condition.
The corner at 96th and Lexington Avenue is very busy, and the NYPD is hoping that someone saw something.
Police released surveillance video that shows the suspect hopping a subway turnstile after the attack.
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.