At least two women have been sexually assaulted in Bushwick in the past seven days, and neighborhood businesses are urging their employees and customers to stay vigilant. One of the attacks occurred outside a parking garage one block away from Roberta's. "I was taking stuff out of the garage and moments after I opened the door onto White Street I felt my head being grabbed by my hair and slammed into the brick wall," N.B.* says. "He was ripping at my jacket from behind and he was trying to put his hand over my mouth, and telling me, 'I'm gonna fuck you,' or 'I'm gonna fuck you up.' Before he was able to get it all the way over I screamed loud enough to make him run."
N.B., who lives nearby, says the attack occurred around 1 a.m. on Saturday and that she has "a giant abrasion and a huge bruise" on her face. "I've been mugged twice, but to have someone try to cover your mouth—it was so terrifying." N.B. said her assailant was around six feet tall, but because he approached her from behind she did not get a good look at his face.
By chance, N.B. was put in touch with the second victim, whose attack happened on Knickerbocker near DeKalb shortly after her own. "She said that a man came behind her, slammed her head into a brick wall, said disgusting things to her, just like what happened to me," N.B. says. "But he apparently masturbated against her back. Her face also has a huge laceration on it."
N.B. and the second victim reported the attacks to the police. A spokesperson for the NYPD's press office confirmed that there were two sexual assaults reported in the 90th and the 83rd Precincts in the last seven days, where both incidents occurred, but declined to provide any more details. "They're still being investigated. We don't provide specific details of what happened to the victims," the spokesperson said.
The management at Roberta's sent a staff-wide email to their employees informing them of the "rash of disturbing events in the neighborhood" and urging them to take car services and travel in groups. The email also notes another assault committed against a woman on Knickerbocker near Jefferson Street on Sunday by a "known-to-police, neighborhood mental-case." The victim was groped and "police came and are fully aware of who he is." The NYPD press office could not confirm the incident.
Molasses Books on Hart Street posted a Facebook status update suggesting customers use Right Rides to get home. Brooklyn BIKE Patrol, an organization dedicated to escorting women home from the subway, posted a Bushwick Daily article about the attacks on their Facebook page. "The community is sort of pulling together to make everyone aware of what happened, and the neighborhood sort of goes through waves of this as different people move in," N.B. says. "But I want to see more police cars on the street. Ideally I'd like to see the police show that they're taking this seriously."
*After the publication of this article, the source asked that we remove her full name to prevent her from receiving unwanted attention.