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An elected official and crime watchdog group have pledged to provide safety support to southeast Queens residents after the neighborhood was the site of two nighttime sexual attacks.
On Tuesday, the Guardian Angels sent out members to patrol the streets of Brookville and Laurelton during the day and night, just two days after police said a woman fought off a sex attacker while she was walking home from the bus.
The attack came three days after another woman was raped in Jamaica by a man who had not been arrested by the authorities as of press time Tuesday afternoon.
City Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton) also said he would be working to protect the neighborhood with a special meeting that was scheduled Wednesday night.
Sanders said members of the 105th Precinct were set to appear at the meeting at the Springfield Assembly Church of Apostolic Faith, at 230-41 Edgewood Ave., and offer tips to residents on how to stay safe and protect the community.
“I have absolutely zero tolerance for sexual assault in my district or anywhere else, and very, very little sympathy for these pervert rapists once they’re caught,” he said in a statement.
Around 2 a.m. last Thursday, a 20-year-old woman was walking near 108th Drive and Merrick Boulevard when a man approached her with a box cutter, took her to a secluded area and raped her, police said.
The authorities described the suspect, who fled the scene, as a black man, 20 to 23 years old, 5 feet 5 inches tall and approximately 180 pounds. He had a Caesar-style haircut and was wearing a black bandana, black waist-length leather jacket and dark jeans, according to the police.
Around 7:30 p.m. Sunday, another 20-year-old woman was walking home from a bus stop near South Conduit and Edgewood avenues when a man approached her, punched her in the face and tried to sexually assault her, police said. The victim fought back and the suspect ran away, according to the authorities.
The victim was treated for her injuries but not seriously hurt, a police spokesman said.
It was not clear if the suspect in the second incident was the same as the Jamaica one, but he was described as a black man between 20 and 25 years old and was seen wearing a black jacket and blue hooded sweatshirt, according to investigators.
Sanders said he will push for community patrols, personal self-defense and other measures.
The councilman is not alone. The Guardian Angels will continue to have a presence in southeast Queens for the time being, said Curtis Sliwa, the group’s founder and president.
Sliwa said the patrols by his members were needed because the police presence in the outer boroughs were weakened as the NYPD shifted personnel to the Occupy Wall Street protest in Lower Manhattan.
“Between the attacks in Brooklyn and the attacks in Queens, the pervs realize there are less cops,” he said.
Sanders is calling on anyone with informationabout the sexual assaults to call the police and urged the suspects themselves to turn themselves in.
“Any man who puts his hands on a woman for any reason other to protect her or himself is a coward of the lowest order, and someone I have absolutely no use for,” he said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), text their tips to 274637 (crimes) then enter TIP577 or log on to nypdcrimestoppers.com. All reports will be kept confidential.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4546.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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