Forest Hills on Edge as Police Hunt for Rapist
QUEENS — Forest Hills was on high alert Wednesday as police continued to search for a man wanted in a series of rapes and robberies that have been committed in the last three weeks.
According to police, 20-year-old Ibrahimia Ragis has assaulted three women, all between the ages of 17 and 23, since May 19. Police said that Ragis, armed with a knife, attacked the women as they entered their homes in the early-morning hours. Two of the women were sexually assaulted, and the third was only robbed after a witness spotted the attacker.
Richard Mumith, a spokesperson for City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, said the attacks have shaken a community that, after being one of the safest in the city for years, is dealing with a 164-percent increase in felony assaults during the last year.
"Forest Hills has a high senior population, one of the highest senior populations in Queens," Mumith said, "so there's a huge feeling of vulnerability."
While Forest Hills does not have a neighborhood watch, Mumith said that several community leaders, including Koslowitz and Council Speaker Christine Quinn, will attempt to raise awareness of the existing dangers by handing out fliers with safety tips to the public.