Woman sexually assaulted in front of Manhattan church, 1 charged

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan (WABC) -- Police have made an arrest in connection with the brutal attempted rape and sexual assault of 23-year-old woman in front of a Manhattan church.

20 year old Xavier Lazu of Washington Heights has been charged with rape, sexual abuse and criminal sex act.

It happened just before 11:30 p.m. Monday near St. Rose of Lima's Church on West 165th Street in Washington Heights.

Authorities say the perpetrator ran up behind the victim, covered her mouth and dragged her under an awning. He then threatened to stab her if she screamed, police said.

The man allegedly shoved the victim against a wall, pulled her pants down and tried to rape her. He then forced her to perform oral sex on him before fleeing the scene.

The victim was taken to the hospital for evaluation following the attack.

Police said the suspect was picked up Wednesday at 165th Street and Audobon Avenue, about two blocks from location of the crime, wearing similar clothing to that of the suspect.

Anyone with additional information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

* More Manhattan news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.