NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are trying to track down a man accused of raping a woman who was looking for directions in Midtown, Manhattan.

The 31-year-old victim exited the 50th Street subway station at around 1 a.m. Sunday after getting lost on her way to a friend’s house in Richmond Hill, Queens.

Police said she stopped to ask the suspect for directions.

“I work in the area and to think like if I get out of work late, that could possibly happen? That’s awful,” Upper East Side resident Hana Ferrari told CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez.

The man allegedly grabbed the woman by the arm, dragged her to the basement of a building on West 51st Street, between Eighth and Ninth avenues, and then raped her.

“This neighborhood feels very safe to me. So that’s definitely very shocking to learn about. I didn’t know something like that happened,” neighbor Andrea Zazzarino said. “There are a lot of alleys and hidden places like that. I’ve never felt too threatened by them. There are usually a lot of people around, but that’s definitely very scary.”

“I don’t leave here until midnight at night time to get home at night. It takes me two hours to get home. So, I have to wonder, could this be me one day?” added Far Rockaway resident Neomie Louis.

Families that CBS2’s Christina Fan spoke with said they were baffled someone could strike in such a public area only a few blocks away from Times Square.

“Hectic always, filled with people. So it’s kind of weird that nobody saw it,” said worker Anna Plotkin.

“I’m very guarded when I’m on the street, especially when it’s a man,” neighbor Deanna Weiner added.

Police said the suspect took off heading north on Broadway at 52nd Street.

The victim, a Yonkers resident, was taken to the hospital with bruising to her arm, leg and back.

Anyone with information about the attack 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.


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