Man wanted in latest Brooklyn rape

Second attack at same housing complex this month
March 20, 2008 4:19:25 PM PDT
A man is wanted for questioning in connection with a rape at a Brooklyn complex. The incident happened at the same development where a similar attack took place two weeks ago -- and police were accused of not paying attention. Eyewitness News reporter Lisa Colagrossi has the latest.

It is not known if the two attacks are related, but it is something police are looking at. Both happened this month at the Van Dyke housing complex.

Police say the latest attack happened around 1:45 a.m. at 414 Sutter Avenue.

The woman who was raped is now hospitalized.

It is not known exactly where in the building the attack happened. However, police do have a little bit of a description of the man wanted for questioning. He is described as a black man, 5-foot-7, wearing a gray hoodie, blue jeans, dark hat and a black vest.

In the first incident on March 6, authorities say a male followed a female into a building on 345 Blake Avenue, produced a knife, forced her to a stairwell and then sexually assaulted her for almost 40 minutes.

He is described as a black male between the ages of 20 and 30, approximately 5-foot-6 and 150 pounds. He has a tan complexion and was last seen wearing a green knit hat.

Anyone with information regarding the identity of this individual should call the NYPD's CrimeStoppers hotline at (800)-577-TIPS. All call will be kept strictly confidential.

In relation to the first incident, the New York City Police Department admitted two cops who were supposed to patrol the building and claimed they had actually never did. The two were taken off enforcement duty and face possible disciplinary action.

Meanwhile, residents have long questioned whether the large number of cameras, both inside and outside the buildings, are always on and being monitored.

Additionally, residents criticized the shoddy upkeep of the building, saying that the front door was broken and that anyone could walk in or out.

The NYPD released the following statement after the attack:

"Only 7-second snippets of each of the 24 cameras in 23 separate buildings in the complex are fed into the monitoring room at any given time. Contrary to published accounts, it has not been established that any portion of the attack was fed into the monitoring room. However, it was established that two officers did not do a vertical patrol of the building when they claimed they had. They were taken off enforcement duties and face disciplinary actions. The rape was at the Van Dyke complex. We do not identify the building out of privacy of the victim."

The Van Dyke Houses has 22 buildings, ranging from three to 14 stories high, with 1,601 apartments housing some 4,330 residents. The 22.35-acres complex was completed May 31, 1955 and is bordered by Mother Gaston Boulevard, Powell Street, Sutter and Livonia Avenues in Brooklyn.