Suspect charged after woman badly beaten in Manhattan attempted rape

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Friday, July 6, 2018
Man charged in UWS attempted rape
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Josh Einiger has the latest on the arrest of a suspect in an attempted rape on the Upper West Side.

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Police have arrested and charged a suspect in connection with a violent attempted rape in Manhattan late Wednesday.

The suspect, 32-year-old Desmond Smith, is charged with attempted rape, strangulation, sexual abuse, and assault.

The 37-year-old victim was attacked and badly beaten after getting out of an Uber car at Central Park West and West 83rd Street on the Upper West Side around 11 p.m.

Authorities say the suspect first attempted to engage her in conversation, but she ignored him. He threw her to the ground, punched her in the head, stomped on her and bit her about the face and head, according to police.

One woman was trying to sleep early Thursday morning when she heard the screams from her usually quiet block on 84th Street. She looked out the window.

"A girl was lying on the ground and the guy was kicking her head," she said. "She was on the ground and he was trying to pick her up so he pulled the skirt, skirt came off and he started pulling, pick her up by the underwear."

Sources say the victim offered the attacker money but he wanted sex.

He continued removing her clothing as she fought back, but police say he became startled and fled when a doorman came to her aid.


That doorman said he heard screams and went across the street to see what was happening.

"She was on the floor, and he was on top of her," Ernest Pjetri said. "He was hitting her, basically, with hands or foot, I couldn't see that. But also, in the way I saw him pulling off her clothes."

He saw a man standing over woman and snapped a picture. The flash got the attention of the attacker, who then ran after the doorman and allegedly told him the victim "owed him money" and that they knew each other.

Police believe they were strangers and this was a random attack, but they are looking into it.

The woman sustained a fractured skull and various bruises to the body and was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital for treatment.

The suspect fled on West 84th Street toward Columbus Avenue. He lives around the corner in a men's shelter, authorities said.


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