Friday, April 22, 2011
Vicious Park Slope attack caught on tape as man grabs woman before neighbors scare him off
late-night attack on a woman that was captured on surveillance video has a quiet Brooklyn block frozen in fear.
The chilling video taken from a brownstone stoop on 16th St. in Park Slope shows a man grabbing a woman on a sidewalk.
"Get away!" the woman hollered, as the man tried to lock her in a hold from behind. "Please, someone help me!"
For about 45 seconds she struggled in vain to escape the man's grasp - but he overpowered her. Her screams drew the attention of neighbors who came out to see what was going on and scared him off.
The attacker released the woman, who ran for safety. The brute ran off in a different direction, as his pants nearly fell to the ground.
Now residents are looking over their shoulders, since the suspect in the March 20 assault is still on the loose.
"It's horrible," said Susan Gosnell, 26, a manager who witnessed the attack from her apartment across the street. "This guy could be out there attacking other women."
The owner of the brownstone with the security camera got a good look at the suspect.
"His eyes were blank - he showed no emotion at all," said the 53-year-old retired financial worker who wouldn't give his name.
Police arrived about 11:35 p.m. - just minutes after the crime. A police source said the 24-year-old woman lives nearby. She was knocked to the ground at some point during the assault, according to the source.
Witnesses described the attacker as a short, Hispanic man with a stocky build. It's not clear if he knew the victim. Police are still trying to figure out the motive.
Neighbors said they were glad they were able to scare off the attacker, but worry that he's still in the neighborhood. "There's nothing heroic about what we did - we were just being good neighbors," said Donald Harrington, 44, a construction worker who responded to the woman's cries for help by hurrying down the street in his pajamas.
"I just hope this guy doesn't come back to do it again - it makes you think twice before walking down the block at night," Harrington said.