A stomach-turning Halloween crime: A man posing as a firefighter on Halloween night managed to rape a woman in her own apartment. The rapist set a fire in the hallway of a Chelsea apartment building on West 24th Street around 6PM; when the woman opened her door to see what was going on, she saw him in full firefighting regalia. He forced his way into her apartment, and covered her mouth with a chemical-soaked rag, knocking her out. The woman, who works at a fashion magazine, woke up the next morning, finding herself in duct tape. Apparently he videotaped himself assaulting her, as the victim remembers from waking up a few times during the ordeal (she was knocked out). She is also concerned the attacker had been stalking her, as he knew personal details about her.

The building's super found the gas mask the rapist used; the super's son later wore it at on Halloween (the mask was maybe lawying in the hall after the rapist forced his way in), but the super turned it over to the police when he heard the news. Another neighbor who alerted his fellow tenants about the fake fire was devastated to realize he knocked on the victim's door probably as the rapist was there. And the police are investigating whether this rape has anything to do with last year's Chelsea-area rape during Halloween.