Two women in Brooklyn were sexually attacked in separate incidents over the weekend, unsettling several neighborhoods already on guard against a potential serial groper.
The latest of the assaults became the 12th such molestation case, including one rape, to occur since March. The unsolved attacks have been in Park Slope, Greenwood Heights, Bay Ridge and Sunset Park, and the victims have typically been petite white women wearing short skirts, police said.
“We’ve heard stories of people trying to change their routines. It’s really inspired fear,” said Emily May, co-founder of the anti-harassment advocacy group Hollaback!
Just before midnight Sunday, a man grabbed the breasts of a 20-year-old woman walking on Vanderbilt Street in Windsor Terrace to her mother’s nearby home, police said. Her screams alerted her mother, and the suspect fled.
Authorities were checking the prints on a car that the man may have touched at the scene. The victim described the suspect as a Hispanic male, 5-foot 4, wearing jeans and a dark tank top.
Earlier Sunday morning, a 35-year-old woman was sexually assaulted and robbed near Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic church at 59th Street in Sunset Park, police said.
Authorities don’t believe the attack is linked to the other incidents, although Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has said there could be more than one suspect involved.
Community groups in Brooklyn, including a bike patrol service and another called Safe Slope, have been escorting people to their homes at night.