A southeast Queens women's group protested outside the 105th Precinct station last week, claiming the precinct had not been forthright about the number of rapes reported in southeast Queens.
"We were not told the correct number of rapes," said Andrea Sanders, the Victorious Organization of Women's president and founder and wife of City Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton). "We needed to have a march because we needed answers."
Sanders said the precinct originally said there were three rapes in the area, which it then changed to eight before giving what she called the "real" number of 11.
Capt. Mike Coyle of the 105th said one of two rape suspects was traced to a rape pattern that developed back in 2007 and is believed to have raped eight times. Police believe he uses a knife, Coyle said.
The other suspect committed three rapes this year at gunpoint, he said.
Theman whom police claimed raped eight women has a Jamaican accent, Coyle said, while the other had a tattoo with the letter 'D' on his wrist.
The 105th Precinct coverage area stretches from Glen Oaks to Queens Village, Springfield Gardens, Rochdale Village and Laurelton.
She said she was also angered because her husband set up meetings at which officers could inform the community about the rapes, but they did not show up.
"We felt a major disrespect," Sanders said. "We want the officers that we taxpayers pay to serve and protect us. They are not there to serve and protect us."
Sanders and her husband met privately with 105th officers shortly before the 7:45 p.m. protest began July 23. She said she was satisfied that the officers agreed to attend a 7 p.m. Aug. 14 meeting at her husband's Laurelton office.
James Sanders said southeast Queens men should support the women.
"The role of men is to back them," he said. "It's to say, 'There's no room for rapists or weird ones of any stripe.' "
Coyle met with about a dozen members of the group who were protesting and said the precinct was distributing fliers with sketches of the suspects throughout the community.
"All of our efforts are geared to capture these animals. We're giving it 100 percent," Coyle said. "We have information that we're trying to get out" to churches, civic groups and bus depots — where some of the rapes have occurred.
He said most of the rapes have been committed near parks and buildings under renovation, where there is low or no lighting.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.
©2008 Community News Group
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