Starting before daybreak, police said a man had been trolling the area hunting for a woman to rape. In Chinatown, he followed a 33-year-old into her James Street apartment building and grabbed her, but she fought him off.
Two hours later, on the Lower East Side, he followed a 24-year-old woman into her building, but she screamed and he fled.
An hour after that he was at the Baruch Houses. At 9 a.m., he walked through an unlocked outside door and up the stairs where he encountered a 40-year-old mother as she entered her apartment. He pushed her in and raped her.
A team of city housing authority workers worked at the building in the Baruch Houses Thursday night to fix the lock on the outside door; it didn't work Thursday morning.
"Why a tragedy have to happen now for them to fix the doors? That don't make no sense," a resident said.
A housing authority spokesperson said it takes "the safety of our residents seriously. And today senior staff visited Baruch Houses, to assess the security measures."
"She always with her kids. You see her with her kids all the time. She always very polite she says 'Good morning' to you, 'how you doing', you know, very calm person," a resident said of the rape victim.
Security cameras there provided detectives with footage they need.
After dark Thursday, the door was finally fixed. Residents blame their neighbors for breaking the locks as soon as NYCHA can fix them. Then it often takes weeks for the workers to come back.
"I have two locks in my house. You have to call before you get in my house. But then its like downstairs, it's like you know whoever, whatever," a resident said.
"They should have fixed the doors long time ago, why we have to wait, why we have to pay for other people's mistakes," another resident said.
The suspect is described as a slim black male in his mid 20s to 30s with facial hair and a dark complexion, about 5 feet 7 inches, wearing blue jeans, a gray sweater, a black bubble jacket and a black hat.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.