A Staten Island man may have prevented the rape of a local 15-year-old girl when he heard her screams from inside the woods near his home and immediately raced out wielding a baseball bat. The girl was walking to a friend's house on Cleveland Avenue in Great Kills Thursday night around 9:30 p.m. when she was dragged into the woods by her neck by a man described as a heavyset Hispanic male, about 5-foot-5 and about 200 pounds. The girl said to her attacker, "Please don't rape me," and he responded, "No, don't scream."
She did scream and was able to alert 51-year-old Patrick Klatt, who luckily happened to have his door open. Klatt, who has a 19-year-old daughter himself, grabbed a bat and gave chase. The attacker ran off, but Klatt arrived at the girl's side to tell her, "As long as you're with me, nobody's going to hurt you." The girl was released from the hospital after being treated for scrapes and cuts on her legs and bruises on her throat.
While her family is saying they are "forever indebted" to Klatt and eager to call him a hero, he is playing down the incident. Klatt said, "I didn't want to make a big thing out of it. I'm not a hero. I did what anyone should have done. ... The girl needed help and I was there. I was lucky I heard her."