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Rape rash in Prospect Heights’ precinct • Brooklyn Paper

Rape rash in Prospect Heights’ precinct

More rapes occurred in Prospect Heights and Crown Heights in June than anywhere else in the city, according to police reports.

In just 11 days, at least six rapes were reported in the 77th Precinct — topping every other precinct citywide — and tripling the number reported there in the same period last June.

Cases include a cab driver who forced himself on a woman on Sterling Place; a friend who wouldn’t accept “no” on Grand Avenue; and a duo of 14- and 15-year-old boys who teamed up to attack a woman on Pacific Street, according to police reports.

“It’s scary,” said neighbor Chanel Grullon, 20, who moved near the Prospect Heights-Crown Heights border two months ago. “It makes me wonder if I picked the wrong place to live.”

Two of the six cases were “stranger rapes;” three occurred between family members or friends and one relationship is unclear.

The alleged rapes occurred along a 16-block stretch, from Washington Avenue to Ralph Avenue, between June 6 and June 17 — with an average of one every other day. At least two men have been arrested.

Locations of alleged rapes include: Washington Avenue and Park Place; Sterling and Bedford avenues; Nostrand Avenue and St. Johns Place; Pacific Street and Schenectady Avenue; Eastern Parkway and Buffalo Avenue; Pacific Street and Ralph Avenue.

The 77th Precinct isn’t the only area in which rape reports have spiked. Data from the NYPD shows sex crimes notoriously increase in warm-weather months. That’s true in the case of the 67th Precinct — which includes parts of East Flatbush — and which suffered the second highest amount of rapes in the borough, with four reported in June.

The crime trend comes at tense time for the Prospect Heights-Crown Heights border, which is quickly becoming gentrified. As brightly lit restaurants sprout and 20-somethings move in, neighborhood newbies must navigate an area that jumps from trendy to scary in in just a few blocks.

Sixty-year-old Prospect Heights resident Ellie Graham — who has lived on the Crown Heights border for decades and fancies herself “street smart” — has some advice for her new lady neighbors.

“Get yourself a dog,” she said.

Cops have different advice: To prevent attacks, women should stay off cellphones while walking at night and take note of their surroundings, said a sergeant with the 77th Precinct. “Be mindful of who’s on the train around you and who could be following you — and don’t take the same route home every night.”

Cases involving family and friends are more difficult to prevent — but it helps to keep alcohol out of the picture, the sergeant said.

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