A band of sure-footed volunteers is walking the walk to beat the South Slope Sex Fiend.
Safe Slope — which formed only last month in the wake of 10 attempted rapes and one rape by one or two sickos since March — is now walking home women who feel threatened in their own neighborhood.
The buddy system began on Thursday night.
“We’re trying to do our part to make people feel safer,” said Michael Crumsho, 31, part of a group of walkers covering a vast territory between Ninth and 30th streets and Second and Eighth avenues. “We’re happy to help.”
The new program comes at a time when police are patrolling every corner and residents are so on edge that every brush is a potential attack and vigilantes may have beaten up an innocent man for looking like a suspect.
To arrange a free walk home, call (347) 709-8852. A dispatcher will ask your location and your destination — then provide a “meet-up” secret code, such as “red apple” or “Brooklyn Paper.”
Then a pair of walkers — at least one of whom is a woman — will meet you, and, after the proper password is provided, walk you home.
In The Brooklyn Paper’s test of the system, Crumsho, who is tall and foreboding, and a petite Camille Cruz picked us up at a Seventh Avenue bar at 10 pm and cheerfully accompanied us several dimly lit blocks to the F train at Ninth Street.
Along the way, Crumsho addressed the Existential angst that the sex fiend has unleashed across the South Slope, Windsor Terrace, Greenwood Heights and other neighborhoods.
“[The area] is thought of as the number one neighborhood in the city for families,” Crumsho said, “so there’s a lot of confusion since this happened. People are wondering — what do we do now?”
That question is on the minds of many locals, who are encountering three different “Wanted” fliers for at least two suspects across the neighborhoods.
The latest incident was on Sept. 21, when a creep groped a woman near Fourth and Prospect avenues. The 29-year-old victim told cops that she had just exited the Prospect Avenue R train station at 9:05 pm when the monster snuck up from behind, grabbed her breasts and fled after she screamed.
Police describe the suspect as a thin 5-foot-7 man, 19- to 24-years-old and weighing about 150 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt, baggy dark jeans and a black baseball cap.
Police originally sought only one South Slope sicko following the first incident on March 20. The suspect — described as 5-foot-7 and 165 pounds — attacked a 24-year-old woman at 11:30 pm on 16th Street near Fourth Avenue.
Cops released a statement on Thursday saying that this man wore a varsity jacket that day but wouldn’t say why this information — months after the attack — was coming out now.
“We’re don’t have any suspects, so we’re pulling out all the stops and hoping people will say something,” a police spokesman said.
Now Safe Slope is seeking volunteers that it will vet over the next few weeks.
“We are offering this program to help our neighbors feel empowered and safe in the neighborhood,” said Jessica Silk, a Safe Slope organizer. “We encourage community members to form their own walking buddy systems with people they trust and look out for each other on the streets.”
Safe Slope walks women home on Thursday through Saturday, 8 pm to 3 am. For info, visit www.safeslope.org or call (347) 709-8852; anyone with information on the South Slope rapists is asked to call the Special Victims Squad at (718) 230-4415, not Crime Stoppers.
©2011 Community News Group
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