Police officials are searching for a Bronx man, who they say attempted to rape a teen girl in a stairwell inside of a residential building. NBC New York reports that around 7:45 p.m. on Monday, a 13-year-old girl was on her way to visit a friend.
After exiting the six train at the Southern Boulevard station, she noticed a man following behind her. Surveillance footage captures the unidentified man walking close behind the teen with a black cell phone in his hand. Police say the suspect continues following the girl even after she walked into her friend’s apartment building at Southern Boulevard and Leggett Avenue.
When the teen reached the stairwell, the man reportedly attacked her and tried to put his hand down her pants. Police say the Bronx man tried to take the teen’s clothes off, but she put up a fight and he ran off.
The victims’ family alerted NYPD, and police officials are now searching for the suspect.
The victims’ father, who asked to remain anonymous, stated that his daughter is “shaken” after the incident, but he said she is doing okay. He went on to say that he was furious after learning that a Bronx man attempted to rape his daughter in a stairwell. In Spanish, he said: “She saw him. She knows somebody was following her. And when she went to the building she was scared.”
The girl’s mother stated that they want someone to come forward with the suspect’s identity. The family is now fearing for their child’s safety and wondering if this is going to happen again.
Mabeline Lopez, who has lived in the neighborhood for 40 years, says that the community is now reluctant to let their children go outside since the incident occurred. She said, “Now you can’t even let them go to the store because you don’t know what’s going to happen around here. You got to keep your eyes open, look at who’s behind you.”
NYPD has released an image of the suspect to the public, which was captured on surveillance footage. Authorities are hoping that someone will speak out and help put a criminal behind bars.
Officials believe the Bronx man is in his mid-20s, who stands 5-feet 5-inches tall with a medium build. In the surveillance footage, he can be seen wearing a black shirt and a black baseball cap with blue jeans and white shoes.
If anyone has information regarding the incident, you are urged to contact NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).
[Featured Image by tzahiV/iStock]