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Victim: Cops downplayed attempted rape in Windsor Terrace • Brooklyn Paper

Victim: Cops downplayed attempted rape in Windsor Terrace

Does this skirt make me look too hot? That’s what some cops are apparently telling women in the South Slope, where a sex fiend has continued to evade capture.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

A Windsor Terrace woman who was attacked by a creep on Sept. 24 claims that police downplayed the incident — brushing her off because she couldn’t identify her attacker as one of the South Slope sex fiends.

The 28-year-old student told police that she was entering her building on E. Fourth Street at 11:30 pm when a thug pushed her up against her door and tried to grope her. She said that the goon fled after she screamed and a passerby approached with a dog.

Last week, cops said that the attack wasn’t related to the South Slope sex fiend, and that the case was simply a drunk man bumping into a woman.

But after reading the police account, the victim, who lives near Greenwood Avenue, reached out to the media to tell a very different story.

“If I’m just the case of some girl with a drunk guy, why would the police be here all night?” she said. “The cops say this is only a harassment case, but the guy actually hit me and pushed me up against the door.”

The woman said that police scoured the area after the attack and brought her to the Special Victims Unit, where she was shown videos and “Wanted” sketches of the brutes who have assaulting 10 women and raped one since March.

The victim described her attacker as a thin Hispanic man in his mid 20s, weighing about 150 pounds — similar to the men wanted in other harrowing attacks across South Slope, Park Slope, Bay Ridge and Sunset Park.

But because she couldn’t see the man’s face in surveillance tapes, the police took her home.

“You can’t see anything in the videos,” the woman said. “How could I know if it was him if I couldn’t see the face in the video? I’m just angry that they didn’t take me seriously.”

A police source denied that officers dismissed the incident.

“No matter how she described the experience, she wasn’t able to identify the person who bumped into her in the videos and pictures we have,” the spokesman said. “Just because this isn’t part of the pattern doesn’t mean it isn’t being thoroughly investigated.”

The latest criticism of the police effort against the fiend or fiends come as many locals complain of a pattern of failure by the NYPD.

Worse, Safe Slope, a neighborhood watch group that formed in August in response to the attacks, penned an open letter to the Police Department on Sept. 28 that alleged that the cops are making women uncomfortable and requested that they undergo sensitivity training.

The group claims that cops have been following women down the street, admonishing them for wearing skirts and therefore making themselves “targets.”

Whatever the truth, residents have been upset from the beginning of the sex fiend’s spree:

• Neighbors tried to give police a surveillance video of the sex fiend’s first attack on March 20 near 16th Street and Fifth Avenue. Locals say that police ignored them until they gave the shocking footage to the media.

• A Kensington woman said that officers at Crime Stoppers hung up on her when she called on Sept. 6 with a tip about a man who flashed her on the subway and looked like the South Slope rapist.

• A Park Slope woman who was attacked on Sept. 8 on 12th Street near Eighth Avenue said that police never showed up after her neighbors called for help.

• A South Slope resident claimed that police laughed at her when she tried to give them information on two white men who beat up a Hispanic man on Sixth Avenue and 18th Street on Sept. 28.

“I tried to mention that I was hoping this wasn’t related to all the stepping up to find the so-called ‘Hispanic rapist,’” said the woman, Tracy Rudzitis. “They were laughing at me.”

• Finally, locals were irate last week after police released a key detail — a description of the colorful varsity jacket the suspect was wearing during the first attack — almost nine months after the attack.

Since late August, fear of attack has prompted residents to hold rallies in the streets, organize self-defense classes, and even provide women with a buddy system when they walk home.

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.

Following a series of attempted rapes over the summer, detectives released a second sketch of the same suspect — and a recently issued a third sketch relating to a Sept. 4 incident, when a sicko tried raping a woman near 49th Street in Sunset Park at 3:40 am.

All three sketches hang in many area storefronts — scary images that residents say reveals little but police ineffectiveness.

“My greatest hope is that the criticism of the Police Department leads to a positive response,” said South Slope resident Sarah Elspeth. “I should be able to get accurate and up-to-date information from them. As far as I can see, that’s not happening.”

Anyone with information on the South Slope rapists is asked to call Brooklyn Special Victims Squad at (718) 230-4415, not Crime Stoppers.

With so many sketches out there right now, our photographer cheekily suggested in this shot that you’re likelier to hit the lottery than find the South Slope Sex Fiend.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

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