The NYPD has released security camera video in an attempt to track down a man who pretended to be a cab driver and then tried to sexually assault a woman who accepted a ride with her three young children. The graphic video shows the suspect violently dragging the woman and children from the vehicle and assaulting them.
Investigators say the suspect picked up the family at 207th Street in Manhattan around 2:45 a.m. on Sunday morning, and, claiming to be a cab driver, drove them to 79-00 Queens Boulevard. The children are ages 1, 3, and 5.
A police sketch of the suspect.
That location is the defunct Pan American Hotel, which has been the target of ugly, xenophobic protests since its conversion to a homeless shelter earlier this year. According to police, the suspect drove his car behind the shelter and attempted to rape the woman. She managed to break free and, after a violent struggle, escape with her children.
"While the victim was attempting to get out of the auto, the suspect elbowed the 5-year-old in the head and forcibly removed the 3-year-old from the auto before fleeing the scene," the NYPD said in a statement. The children were taken to Elmhurst Hospital with minor injuries.
Police describe the suspect as a male Hispanic in his 40s. At the time of the assault he was wearing a dark blue sweat suit with white stripes, had an earring in his right ear and had manicured eye brows. Investigators say he spoke Spanish.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.