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Police still have no leads in five unsolved sex attacks out of the seven assaults that have been plaguing southeast Queens, but an elected official is urging residents not to give in to fear.
The latest incident took place around 5 a.m. Oct. 26 when a woman was sexually assaulted near 228th Street and 135th Avenue, according to City Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton), whose office is near the crime scene.
The NYPD said no arrests had been made in last week’s attack as of press time Tuesday afternoon and declined to give further details on its investigation.
Sanders said he was concerned with the rise in sex attacks in the area, despite an increase of force from the police and community watchdog groups, but he called on residents to fight back.
“One way or another, we will send the message that this kind of degeneracy has no place in our community or any community,” he said in a statement.
Last week, a 15-year-old suspect from Springfield Gardens was arrested and charged with two attacks that took place in Laurelton last month.
On Oct. 9, a 40-year-old woman was trying to enter her home in Laurelton around 1 a.m., when the teen suspect allegedly pushed her to the ground, punched her several times in the face and sexually abused her, investigators said. A neighbor heard the commotion and the attacker fled on foot, according to the police.
On Oct. 16, a woman was walking back to her Brookville home from a bus stop near South Conduit Avenue around 7 p.m., when she was struck in the back of the head and almost sexually assaulted by a male whom police believe is the teen suspect, according to investigators.
She was able to fight him off and he fled the scene, police said.
A spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney’s office said the teen’s case has been transferred to Queens Family Court because he is still a juvenile.
Police were looking for suspects wanted in last week’s incident and four other attacks that have taken place since September.
Investigators say a black male grabbed and sexually assaulted a 44-year-old woman as she was entering her Queens Village home around 1:15 a.m. Sept. 22.
A male grabbed and sexually assaulted another woman in the same vicinity Oct. 7 around 11 p.m., police said.
On Oct. 12, a 23-year-old woman was walking along 226th Street and South Conduit Avenue around 11:30 p.m. when a male approached her and sexually assaulted her, police said. A day later a masked man armed with a box cutter approached a 20-year-old woman at 108th Drive and Merrick Boulevard around 2 a.m. and raped her, police said.
The police, the crime watchdog group Guardian Angels and area civic organizations have stepped up patrols in the area since the spree started and Sanders pushed them and residents to keep up the watch to bring the culprits to justice.
“I always believed it seemed unlikely that a single perpetrator could have committed every attack, especially one so young,” he said, referring to the arrest of the 15-year-old.
“While I’m glad to see that we have one suspect in custody, the bottom line is that we must remain steadfast as a community against these cowardly, despicable attacks against our sisters, mothers, daughters and loved ones.”
Anyone with information is urged 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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