Thursday, July 24, 2008
Man Exposes Himself to 14-Year-Old Girl at J Train Station
INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY FOR LINK TO OTHER QUEENS ATTACKS
By Patricia Adams
Police in the 102 are still looking for a man they say exposed himself and sexually accosted a 14-year-old girl on Monday at the Woodhaven Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue station.
Officers from the precinct continued to canvass the area throughout the day distributing flyers with the face of a man wanted in connection with several other sexual assaults in Queens. The victim of the latest attempted assault says that when the man exposed himself and started to follow her she ran away and called police. The man was allegedly carrying a razor. Police are continuing to question the victim who, according to reports has said that the attacker strongly resembles a suspect connected to sex-crime patterns in the 105 and 113 precincts.
Many residents who watched as police went through Woodhaven on Monday afternoon were uneasy and said they were on edge about the attack and the other attacks they had heard about. “If this is the same guy,” said Marguerite Lopez, “then we have a big problem. You hear about some ‘sicko’ doing this stuff to young girls in another neighborhood and you say ‘what a shame’, but when it’s on your own street then you start to think what you’re gonna’ do about it.”
Others in the community were also alarmed as they say things like this don’t usually cross your mind until something happens. But the residents were also comforted by the strong presence of police personnel on the street who continued to search for a link between Monday’s incident and a string of attacks in Queens.
There is an ongoing search for a pair of serial rapists believed to be behind at least 10 attacks in Queens since November of 2007. Before this, the most recent assault happened on July 10th around 2 a.m. behind P.S. 37 in Springfield Gardens, where an 18-year-old woman told police she was waiting for the Q85 bus when she was grabbed by a man with a knife and dragged to a desolate area. Police sources say that the same man raped another woman two days earlier while she waited for the same bus several stops away in Laurelton.
Police have released a sketch of the suspect. The man, described as being in his early 20s, about 5 feet 8 inches tall with a medium build. Investigators say in both attacks, the suspect was wearing a T-shirt with a black tribal pattern containing roses and skulls. Now that there is a possibility that the same man has made an appearance in yet another Queens precinct, the search has widened. Merchants along Jamaica Ave. were cooperative with police, hanging the wanted posters in their stores.
The sketch is one resembling a suspect sought for an attempted sodomy/assault that was supplied by a witness. The man is described as a male black, light-skinned, about 5’10”, slim build between 22 and 28 years old with short black hair. Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1.866.313.TIPS.
The Forum Newsgroup/photo by ROBERT STRIDIRON