Outraged 16th Street residents say cops have done nothing to investigate a vicious month-old sexual assault on their block — even though the entire harrowing ordeal was caught on video.
“It disturbs me that [cops] can pick and choose what they want to pursue,” said one resident, who only identified himself as Kenny. “[The attacker] is a local dude. We’ve seen him around the neighborhood, but the police aren’t doing anything about it.”
But local cops are refuting resident’s gripes.
The attack — which took place between Fourth and Fifth avenues on March 20 at 11:30 pm — is being aggressively investigated, an NYPD spokesman said.
“We are investigating the incident as an attempted rape,” an NYPD spokesman said.
Investigators say they have a copy of the video — taken from a stationary camera looking out onto a well-lit sidewalk — but it remains unclear when they received it. Kenny said his neighbors told police about the video as soon as it was taken, but detectives never came by to pick it up.
We have a copy, too.
The 65-second video is disturbing: A series of surprised screams is heard, then a woman in a light blue coat comes into view, desperately fighting off a beefy man with close-cropped hair. The man’s pants are hanging from his thighs.
“Get off of me! Get off of me!” the woman cried, but her attacker was relentless: he pulled at her coat, clapped a meaty palm onto her mouth to muffle her screams and put her in a choke hold.
The thug tried to take the woman’s jeans off, but she kept squatting down — thwarting his attempts.
The woman ultimately shook off her attacker and ran away. The rapist hitched up his pants and crossed the street — away from his victim — just as a neighbor stepped outside to see what was happening.
Crimes like this are very rare in the area. According to NYPD statistics, only one sex assault has been reported to the 72nd Precinct, which protects Windsor Terrace and a small portion of Park Slope, in the last month. Four other rapes took place earlier in the year, but most of them have been linked to cases of domestic violence.