Friday, July 27, 2007

Heroes of the Block

What a relief that the serial rapist that was stalking our neighborhood for the past couple of weeks was caught. While you might think this is a common occurrence in NY, you would be wrong. (Statistics show that something like 80% of all rapes happen by someone known to the victim.) This rapist would follow single women home very late at night and push them into their buildings. I think he struck around 4 times in the past couple weeks.

When he attacked a woman who lives in the adjacent building to me it was 4:30am and her screams attracted the attention of a couple who were sleeping in their van parked just outside. The husband/hero took a pipe from his van and hit the door to attract attention and to try to scare the rapist away, which worked, but they couldn't capture him, and he ran away down the block while they shouted "stop him." The sound of the pipe slamming on the front door sounded like gunshots, which is what really woke me up and I'm sure I'm not the only one to call 911. The cops arrived very quickly but it was too late, he had gone. I don't know the extent of the beating the victim took, but this couple saved her from further aggression. There were about 2 more attacks in following weeks in our neighborhood with the same MO - single woman, late at night, pushed into the lobby. Scary stuff.

The amazing part of the story is that this guy was caught by the very same couple who saved the woman. They spotted him in the daytime, in a neighborhood restaurant, and they fought with him and held him, and had to borrow cell phone to call the police. Since then they have had several other identifications that confirm him as the suspect.. I would love to show you the interview they did yesterday downstairs (while my husband worked on his bike 10 feet away without noticing the cameras!) on CW11 but I can't get a link to the video.

What heroes and what amazing people to have as neighbors. I have never felt so lucky to live in a place where there are people who are brave and care about those around them to risk themselves, not once, but twice. This brave couple don't have a lot, they work the late shift in a bakery, but they have the most important thing, humongous hearts.

1 comment:

Christopher Egan said...

hi jill, the link to CW11 - . Scrool down video menu to Suspected Sexual Predator Off The Streets. Chris