Williamsburg Police Precincts to Hold Forum in Wake of Sexual Assault
WILLIAMSBURG — A pair of Brooklyn police precincts is hosting an open forum to address public safety in Williamsburg, after a New Year's Day sexual assault put many residents on edge.
Deputy Inspector Terence Hurston wrote to blogger Heather Letzkus that his 94th Precinct, together with the nearby 90th Precinct, will host a discussion about the area's "recent crime trends" at 7 p.m. on Weds., Jan. 18, at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, 275 North 8th St., at Havemeyer Street.
The meeting comes after several neighbors spoke last week at a Community Board 1 meeting to express concern about an attacker who sexually assaulted a woman on Maspeth Avenue at 4:20 a.m. New Year's Day.
The suspect grabbed the woman and brought her into a parking garage, claiming he had gun before assaulting her, police said.
He is described by the NYPD as man between the ages of 20 and 25, standing 5-foot-8 and weighing 150 pounds with a thin build. He was wearing a gray jacket with a hood and a dark baseball hat at the time, police added.
Eugenio Ramos, a correction officer at Rikers Island who lives in the area, said he was distressed by what he considers an inconclusive investigation by the NYPD.
"My daughter who lives in the area is paranoid and having a hard time sleeping," said Ramos, who has helped post NYPD fliers depicting the alleged attacker's image.
Guido Cianciotta, of the Concerned Citizens of Withers Street block association, also expressed concern about the assault, and said he hopes the police will focus even more on crime in the area.
"We need help," Cianciotta said.
Councilman Stephen Levin said calling a public meeting with both precincts was necessary to address the attack.
"This summer a string of sex assaults in South Slope, Park Slope and Sunset Park created a huge outpouring of awareness," said the councilman, who represents Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Park Slope, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO and Vinegar Hill.
Levin added that he hopes the Williamsburg incident will generate a similar level of awareness.