Sexual predator on the loose in NYC

March 4, 2008 5:06:25 AM PST
New York police are looking for a would-be rapist in Greenwich Village. He allegedly attacked two women early Sunday morning, and authorities say he would have raped them had they not fought back.

Eyewitness News reporter Jim Dolan has the story.

Two women were attacked, one in the hallway of a school. Police say the man even went back and attacked one of the women a second time, before she fought back again and he fled.

Police have released a sketch of the man they say attacked two women and who they fear will not stop there. The streets of the Village are narrow and dark. It is, of course, what gives this area its character, but on Sunday morning, it provided an opportunity for a rapist.

"I've lived in a bunch of different neighborhoods in New York, and this one, I just feel, is the friendliest," a girl named Molly told us. "People will say hi to you in the streets, make conversation when you're waiting in line at a cafe, and it's really scary to think that."

Police say the two women were attacked within 15 minutes of each other. The attacker is described as Hispanic, in his 20s, about 5-foot-7 and 140 pounds. He was wearing a dark baseball cap and a pullover sweater. Police are urging women to be extra careful and to avoid walking alone, especially at night.

"It's very quiet, but as a native New Yorker, that's also sort of what puts you antennae up," another woman said.

Molly says she has always felt comfortable walking alone at night.

"I do it, and it's not that late tonight," Molly said. "But cabs are so expensive that when I go out late at night, I generally do walk part of the way alone."

Anyone with information is urged to call police.