Oct. 17, 2011 By Christian Murray
Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer held a press conference on 46th Street and Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside today to alert the public and aggressively search for a perpetrator who has been groping women, and one 12-year-old girl in the Sunnyside/Woodside neighborhoods of Queens.
The suspect, described as a Hispanic male between 30 and 40, has been seen riding a black mountain bike as he rides up behind the women and grabs them inappropriately before fleeing. He has been striking the same general area within a few blocks of each other (see story for the location of incidents). The most recent incident happened Oct. 7 at 39th Avenue and 46th Street.
Council Member Van Bramer is working with the NYPD at the 108th Precinct to support the full-scale investigation already underway to capture the suspect as soon as possible.
“Sunnyside and Woodside are safe neighborhoods but one assault against women is one too many. We will track down this cowardly criminal and make sure he is punished and put away. We must be vigilant as a community as the 108th precinct pursues leads in the case and I will do all I can to assist the NYPD in getting this sexual predator off our streets,” said Council Member Van Bramer.
“One of the great things about Sunnyside and Woodside is the feeling of safety and community that people share. We are not going to allow this predator to make women afraid in these or any other sections of Queens,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “We are asking for the public’s help, if anyone sees anything or has any useful information about these incidents we want them to call the NYPD.”
“The women of our community should not have to walk through our neighborhoods in fear of being attacked,” said Rep. Joe Crowley. “I urge everyone to take a good look at the surveillance tape and contact the authorities if you recognize the suspect as well as report any suspicious activity. This is a time when our community can work together to help ensure our family, friends and neighbors are safe and to help bring the person responsible for these attacks to justice.”
Senator Michael Gianaris, who recently introduced legislation to making groping of a child a felony requiring mandatory jail time, said, “We must have zero tolerance for the recent rash of groping incidents in our neighborhoods. In addition to the passage of my bill that would increase penalties for gropers, we must band together as a community to keep our streets safe and free from sexual predators.”