April 10, 2012 By Christian Murray
Neighborhood politicians held a press conference this morning at 46th Street and Queens Blvd. to warn residents about a sexual predator on the loose who attacked a Sunnyside woman on Easter Sunday.
The press conference came just two days after a 30-year-old woman was attacked near 39-08 46th Street at 5:45 am. The man threw the woman into the bushes and put his hands down her blouse and punched her in the face.
Fortunately, Mike Novak, a neighborhood resident, heard the women’s screams from his house and ran outside to check it out—causing the perpetrator to flee. The incident occurred on the same block as where Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer lives.
The attacker is believed to be a male Hispanic in his late 20s-early 30s, and to be between 5 ‘6’ to 5 ‘8’.
This latest attack comes on the heels of six groping episodes that took place in Sunnyside and Woodside in September and October last year. None of those incidents, which involved female victims as young as 12, were solved. The perpetrator of those attacks was believed to a Hispanic man who rode around the area on a black mountain bike.
This latest victim, similar to those last year, was unable to provide police with a good description—given the speed and surprise associated of the attack.
At the press conference, Congressman Joseph Crowley, Van Bramer and other elected officials personally distributed fliers with Mike Novak to subway riders as they were on their way to work. The fliers provided a description of the perpetrator and were used to raise public awareness about the recent attack.
The police do not believe this latest incident is linked to last year’s episodes—although they are still early in their investigation. Furthermore, there does not appear to be a link to the groping incidents in Jackson Heights, where four women have been sexually attacked in the past month.
“The recent uptick in sex-related attacks in our neighbourhood is intolerable,” said State Sen. Mike Gianaris. “Women in our community should feel comfortable riding the subway, walking the streets and going about their daily activities.”
Meanwhile, Van Bramer insisted that Sunnyside is a safe neighborhood. “This [attack] is not indicative of Sunnyside or Sunnyside Gardens.” Instead, he added, “Mike Novak’s heroism is indicative of our neighborhood.”
Christine Quinn, council speaker, said it was “unfortunate that we are at this corner once again responding to individuals thinking they can prey on women.”
Quinn said that there have also been a number of groping incidents in Manhattan. “There is a man who has been groping women in 3 neighborhoods.”
Meanwhile, when Novak was asked about his bravery, he just shrugged his shoulders and said: “I’m no hero. I just did what anyone would do if they heard a woman screaming.”
“Not indicative of Sunnyside or Sunnyside Gardens.” What does that mean? We know there has been an uptick in crime and, let’s face it, in such a residential area it is unlikely that a crime will be seen if it is very late at night or very early in the morning.
Christine Quinn is an opportunist. Don’t trust her. I recommend carrying pepper spray.
The presence of Ms. Quinn does not make me feel any safer. The woman is just another politician who will say anything to be elected mayor.
It’s a pity women in this city can’t take advantage of their 2nd amendment rights and give perverts like this a big surprise when they shoot their balls off.
@politics Thank you.
I am grateful to Mr. Novak for what he did for the woman in question. He deserves all accolades. But there are innumerable women who have borne such attacks and get no support at all. One man who abused me said he did it because I was so beautiful. If that isn’t blaming the victim, what is? None of the attacks I suffered were at a small hour of the morning, or even at night, they took place quickly, in broad daylight on busy streets, with lots of people around. Usually the man was gone before I could recover my wits enough to say anything. I called the cops once and followed one masturbator until the cops showed up, but they took too long, he was gone. No one cared a bit. The message was “What do you want me to do about it?” The times I have brought the subject up in conversation, silence falls, everyone is very uncomfortable, they don’t know what to say. There certainly wasn’t any real sympathy or compassion. Just appalled silence.
I don’t spend much time on the streets anymore. I drive as often as possible. Since I’ve taken to my car, not much happens anymore.
For what it’s worth, later analysis has shown that much of what people think about the Kitty Genovese murder is a misconception:
So don’t lose faith in humanity just yet.
I agree with everyone in hoping they catch the perpetrator of this crime. The cynic in me is rolling his eyes that these politicians are reacting like this. I’ve had friends assaulted/groped on the way home from subway who received minimal to no support from police, in one case, telling the victim the guy probably thought she was cute.
Is Van Bramer reacting like this because it happened on his street? Is Quinn involved because of her likely mayoral run? If someone is ‘caught’ will everyone go back to feeling safe?
As Just Looking points out, these types of incidents are pervasive.
why not post a sketch of this lowlife?
While I am grateful to Mr. Novak and to all our public officials for the attention given this incident, there are far more incident like this than are reported.
Although I was never pushed to the ground with a man on top of me, the number of times men put their hands on me, showed me their private part, or said threatening sexual remarks is beyond my count. Some men are perverted sneaks who habitually get thrills from such affronts.
I hope public outrage about this, coupled with a strong campaign of public awareness, arrest and punishment teaches any budding perverts that there is a heavy price to pay for such behavior. Heretofore there has been nothing but their own sense of shame to dissuade them, and that seemed lacking.
“I’m no hero. I just did what anyone would do if they heard a woman screaming.” – Mike Novak
If only that were true. Not everybody is willing to help others in danger. Remember the Kitty Genovese case?
if this guy is illegal will quinn hand him over to ice agents or does he get to walk free because she sponsored a law where nypd does not cooperate with ice?
Thank god for people like Mike!