Members of the NYPD are searching for a man who is suspected of attempting to sexually assault a woman outside of her apartment in East Harlem on Monday night.
The incident took place around 7:15 p.m. in a building located near Park Avenue and 102nd Street. The suspect—identified as an 18-year-old male weighing in at about 130 lbs and wearing a black and yellow shirt—was caught via security camera following a 31-year-old woman as she entered the lobby of her residence.
In the surveillance footage, the young man is seen entering the building behind his intended victim and trailing her as she heads up the stairs. He is next seen running down the same staircase towards where he came in; he then proceeds to put a cloth over his face.
According to authorities, the suspect pulled on the victim’s skirt outside of her apartment door, and then attempted to rape her. The woman defended herself by scratching the suspect’s face, prompting him to flee the scene.
While some heard the attack occur, it seems that no one observed the scene—or called the police.
“She was saying: ‘Please, help me! Help me!’ That’s all. But I don’t open the door,” Luisa Cancel, an elderly resident of the building, said in an interview with a local CBS affiliate. “I’m alone, and I’m 80 years old. I’m too old to be nosy.”
In the video footage, another man is seen at the door to the complex, which momentarily stalls the attacker’s escape. He later told police officers he was unable to dial 911 because he did not have a cell phone on hand.
After the attack, the woman was taken to Metropolitan Hospital Center for a medical evaluation.
As of now, it is unclear as to whether the suspect put a cloth to his face to conceal his identity, to wipe blood off of his face from the victim’s warranted retaliatory measures, or both. Regardless, many locals have commented that the presence of surveillance cameras at the scene of the crime is more of a comfort than a hindrance.
“I truly believe in cameras because the camera caught everything,” East Harlem resident Nancy Vega told CBS. “People need to know because the word has to get out. You know, any woman should feel comfortable walking down the street.”
Image via YouTube.