Last weekend, a 16-year-old pizza delivery boy was accused of raping a 35-year-old woman in her West 61st Street apartment. Cesar Lucas, who has reportedly confessed to the horrific crime, was caught after cops talked to the building's doorman and determined Lucas had been delivering a pizza to one of her neighbors. That doorman, who was the only person on duty that evening, has now been suspended. But 63-year-old Luis Rodriguez doesn't think he deserves the blame for the attack: “There was nothing I or anyone put on that desk that night could have done to assist in whatever was going on upstairs on the 10th floor,” Rodriguez told the Daily News.
Rodriguez, a married father of seven who has worked as a doorman for 23 years, is worried about losing his job—especially now that his 13-year-old son has been admitted New York Presbyterian Hospital with pneumonia. Halstead Properties, who runs the 221-unit UWS building, put the doorman on unpaid suspension pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
Rodriguez explained that he was disciplined because Lucas was upstairs for at least 20 minutes between 12:30-1 a.m., and he didn't go to investigate. But to Rodriguez, that didn't seem that out of the ordinary:
They could be giving out menus. They could have been striking up a conversation with the resident. They could have delivered the wrong food or charged them erroneously and was calling the store. There are a number of things that could have been happening that wouldn’t have made me suspicious of the fact that this guy has been up there [for 20 minutes].
Another source told them that the overnight porter job was eliminated a couple of months ago—that person would have accompanied a delivery man upstairs at that time of night. “It was a no-win situation,” the source said, adding that Rodriguez was “unjustly suspended.”
Lucas was scheduled to appear in court today; he reportedly confessed to the crime, telling cops he "went in because he was feeling horny and that he took advantage of her." His mother defended him the other day, claiming the victim may have been drunk: "I am not dismissing the woman’s claims, but a lot of what she is saying doesn’t make much sense."