Residents of Brooklyn neighborhoods Park Slope and Sunset Park are growing increasingly concerned about the way the NYPD has been handling a recent string of sexual assaults at the hands of what appears to be a serial attacker.
In June, according to Gothamist, officers allegedly turned down the chance to view surveillance footage of a would-be assault in the neighborhood (though they did eventually obtain the tape weeks later). Police released a composite sketch and questioned a man, but did not charge him.
A reader of the F*cked in Park Slope blog wrote in recently to say that she thought she'd spotted a man matching the description aboard the F train, but found the police somewhat less than interested.
The F*cked In Park Slope reader details her experience with calling Crime Stoppers —after she saw a sign posted with a drawing of the rapist and realized that a man who recently "exposed himself" to her on the F train "looked exactly like" the rapist— and it's pretty grim.
Let me tell you, the detective I spoke to was horrible, sarcastic, and rude and it scares me that these are the people who are supposed to be catching this guy. Here's how the conversation went:
Cop: Hello, this is detective so and so (I wish I'd written down his name)
Me: Hi, I'm calling because I think I may have some information about the Park Slope rapist.
Cop: How do you know there is a Park Slope rapist?
Me: Because everyone in Brooklyn does-I've seen it on the news, in the paper, etc.
Cop: So what, do you have his name and number?
Me: Um, what? No but someone exposed himself to me on the subway last week and after seeing the drawing of the guys face, I think it's the same person.
Cop: Doesn't really do me much good unless you know where the guy is. The thing about this number is that they say you should call if you have any information, but we really need good information.
Me: I was just trying to be a good citizen and give some information that might help you catch him, like what stop he got off on or the fact that he carried a small green duffle bag.
Cop: Okay, sure what stop did he get off on?
Me: Jay Street around 7:15 in the morning last Wed.
Cop: Describe him.
Me: I described him.
Cop: Jay Street around 7:15?
Cop: Okay. Click.
Sure, that's not his "name and number" but isn't any information better than no information at all? You have to start somewhere, right? Plus, according to the reader, the person who answered the phone almost seemed like he assumed she didn't have any good information at all, which seems like a counterproductive approach —especially when this guy is still out there and still assaulting people.
And last night another woman was groped, on 12th Street between 8th Avenue and Prospect Park West, while walking home from the train. In her words:
My neighbors, who were sitting on the stoop of the house, came running when they heard my screams. I don't think the guy saw them when he decided to attack me. The guy ran off. He was 5'4, dark hair, wearing a black tank top. One of my neighbors ran after him but couldn't catch him. I was shaking. I could not believe what just happened to me. It wasn't even that late. I came home and told my husband what happened. He ran downstairs. I knew the guy was long gone. Our neighbors told my husband that they already called the cops. When cops still didn't show up by 1:00am I went to bed.
If there is a tiny ray of hope I can leave you with, a "Safe Slope" rally has been scheduled for September 14.