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Woodside Residents Remain in Fear After Arrest of Man Caught Peeping, Masturbating

Screenshot from video obtained by Sunnyside Post. Image slightly edited.

Oct. 31, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

Residents of a quiet Woodside street remain on edge despite the arrest last week of the man they say has been menacing their block and masturbating while peeping through their windows.

Fawad Hekmaty, 40, was arrested on Oct. 23 after breaking into a house near 50th Avenue and 41st Street a month ago, according to police.

Hekmaty, listed under a New Jersey address, allegedly entered the two-family home between 1:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. on Sept. 22, but fled once a 32-year-old woman inside woke up and screamed.

He is currently out on $25,000 bail after being charged with burglary, criminal trespass, harassment and public lewdness, court records show, and is due back in Queens Criminal Court on Nov. 7.

But this one break-in and arrest does not tell the full story, according to residents, of a man they allege has been masturbating while peering through their windows and staking out their block for months—if not years.

“This man has been terrorizing the neighborhood,” said a 35-year-old mother who has lived on the block for more than eight years, and who neighbors credit for his eventual arrest.

Residents on the 41st Street block between 50th Avenue and the Queens Midtown Expressway wished to remain anonymous for this story, given fears of retaliation and Hekmaty’s release from custody after posting bail.

Neighbors say the story begins with a bizarre incident that allegedly took place last summer on their block, where a naked man was spotted by a resident masturbating on a ladder while looking through a window.

The 35-year-old mom, who was among the first to hear of the incident, immediately recalled a troubling situation on the same block four years ago, where she alleges a stranger who fit the description of the man on the ladder tried to follow her into her home after a late night out.

Neither case was reported to police at the time, however.

But the Sept. 22 break-in almost a year later solidified fears that their block was possibly being targeted.

The 35-year-old, who lives with her husband and young child, said she was left shaken by the recent incident, recalling how she heard a ‘blood-curling” scream from across the street at about 4:30 a.m.

Her neighbor, whose scream had scared Hekmaty away, told her he was crawling across her bedroom floor when she woke up.

The frightening break-in brought the quiet block together, and prompted residents with surveillance cameras to begin taking a closer look at their video footage, even forming a WhatsApp neighborhood watch group to share videos and tips.

What residents found was Hekmaty, on multiple occasions, allegedly seen roaming around the neighborhood at strange hours and lurking through property after the break-in—even appearing at times to dodge surveillance cameras.

One particular video, however, horrified neighbors.

One resident had captured footage of him in October masturbating outside the entrance of a home on the block after apparently peeping through a window. The video of the incident, which allegedly took place on Oct. 10, was sent to police.

The video, provided in part to the Sunnyside Post, shows Hekmaty dropping his pants to his ankles and apparently masturbating.

“To me, that’s not a burglar,” said a 39-year-old man who has lived on 41st Street for more than 10 years, and who was part of the WhatsApp group. “This is someone with a pathological compulsion.”

By the middle of October, many residents grew dissatisfied that despite the Oct. 10 video, the Sept. 22 incident, and a collection of videos that showed the same man lurking the block, police had yet to make an arrest.

Prompted by the frustration, the 35-year-old woman attended a meeting hosted by the Woodside civic group, United Forties, on Oct. 18 and raised the issue to a larger audience.

“I kind of spoke up,” she said. “I tried to make as much noise as possible, because I knew that was the only way we were going to be heard.”

Her 39-year-old neighbor also attended the meeting, and told the crowd the perpetrator is more than just a prowler.

“This guy is a predator,” he recalls saying. “He can’t just be victimizing our street.”

Police distributed video footage of Hekmaty to the media just hours after the meeting, and an NYPD spokesperson said Neighborhood Coordination Officers “switched their tours to reflect the time these incidents were taking place.”

The night of the arrest, just five days after the meeting, was “something out of a horror movie,” the 35-year-old said.

She had let her dog out at around 3 a.m. on Oct. 23 when she saw Hekmaty emerge from a driveway on her street.

She ran back inside once he began to make his way toward her. But while phoning police, she saw he had made his way to the driveway, and was peering into her window.

Her husband, afraid that Hekmaty would flee before police got to the scene, began to chase after him.

By the end of the commotion, Hekmaty had been pinned to the ground, hands cuffed behind him, by responding officers who arrived on the block.

The woman said his arrest was “surreal”, and that Hekmaty never uttered a single word as he slunk into the back of the police car.

“You just saw him get in the cop car and lean his head against the head rest, as if saying, ‘That was it. I’m screwed,’” she said.

While Hekmaty now faces a slew of charges in court next week, residents say a sense of unease has blanketed the block they’ve always felt was quiet and safe.

“We’ve been scared,” the 35-year-old said. “We’ve been fearful. We’ve put bolts on our doors. We’ve changed locks.”

Her 39-year-old neighbor, meanwhile, said Hekmaty has forced him to question how safe he and his family are.

“He has changed how I will live for the rest of my life,” he said. “I will always be in a security stance because of this guy.”

Many questions, additionally, remain unanswered.

“Why us? Why our block? What’s his fascination for our block?” the 35-year-old said, noting that Hekmaty has a New Jersey address.

“There’s a concern of retaliation,” a 37-year-old resident of the block said. “He comes to this block for a reason. The concern is that he will get out and come back.”

Hekmaty’s lawyer did not immediately respond to questions about his charges and allegations against him.

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15 Comments

Tugboat Sam

He’s not bonkers in any legal sense because he clearly knew what he was doing could get him in trouble.




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Frances Michaels

Hey BigJim with your PEABRAIN at work !! IGNORANCE & STUPIDITY CONQUERS PEOLE WHEN THEY JUMP ON THE BANDWAGON !!




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Mental Health

New York State and City need to reopen their mental health facilities and admit people like Hekmaty. Yes he broke the law but the root of that is he’s absolutely mental. People like this don’t belong in jail they belong in a mental health facility. Otherwise Hekmaty could be met with a good old fashion Sunnyside beat down.




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Fan of Dough Boy Park

A serious story about a situation in our neighborhood and you drag President Trump into it. Trump derangement syndrome exists, sadly.Regarding your bizarre Kavanaugh inclusion. Nothing was ever proven. Remember that word “ proof” . It used to mean something . “ innocent til proven guilty”? Remember that.




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guys do strange things when horny

standing on a ladder masterbating while looking through window. I fear that we’re not dealing with a novice, this man is obviously highly skilled and well trained!!




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TheRealBigJim

If you’re try to make a joke out of this article it’s not funny. Sometimes these perverts take it to another level.




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Juana Juana

Just because Donald “grab ’em” Trump normalized sexual assault doesn’t mean we need it in our neighborhood.




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TheRealBigJim

I see your comment under the pseudonym BigJim was deleted now you’re using Juana Juana.




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Carbie Barbie

This is awful. Can’t he be remanded on medical grounds? The guy is obviously bonkers and can’t control himself. I believe that’s the technical term–bonkers.




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