More than a month after a horrifying rape attempt took place on 16th Street, outraged residents of the block say cops did little to investigate the crime.
“The day of the attack, police left as quick as they came,” said Donald Harrington, 44, a 16th Street resident who witnessed the attack from his second floor window and ran out after the would-be rapist. “Then the police didn’t show up until the press came, a month later.”
“I’m not at all happy with the way police handled this,” added neighbor Jim Gallagher, 52. “This guy is still walking around out there.”
A video of attack — which took place on March 20 at 11:30 p.m. between Fourth and Fifth avenues — became widely circulated last week, after a neighbor shared a video of the incident taken by a stationary security camera on his house.
The video shows a woman, shrieking, as she attempts to fight off a husky man as he gropes her from behind, his pants pulled down. The woman eventually fights him off and the attacker flees just as a neighbor steps outside to investigate the commotion.
Police said that the attempted rape is now being aggressively investigated. Cops released a description of the creep – a light skinned, 28-year-old male, 28 years old wearing a red baseball cap, blue jeans and a black waist length jacket – but only after The New York Daily News first released a video of the attack last Friday.
According to a friend of the victim, who wished to remain unnamed to protect her friend’s identity, the victim, a 24-year-old resident of the block, had just gotten off at the Prospect Avenue R stop when she noticed someone was following her. He then pushed her against an iron gate, ripped her leggings, and put his hands down the back of her pants. Struggling to break free, the woman even bit her attacker’s nose.
“I don’t know what took so long,” said 16th Street resident Mel Daley, 29, as she sat on her front stoop with her dog. “It took four weeks for us to find out about this. That makes me feel unsafe.”
According to NYPD statistics, only one sexual assault has been reported to the 72nd Precinct in the last month. A total of five rapes have taken place so far in 2011.
Anyone with information in regards to this assault is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.