Inwood Residents Cautious and Angry After Attempted Rape
INWOOD — Carlos Rodriguez's girlfriend walks their dog along West 212th Street every morning, but after a pregnant woman was almost raped on that street early Sunday, he reconsidered their routine.
"She ain't walking the dog by herself anymore," said Rodriguez, 32, who like many of his neighbors was worried about safety in the wake of the attack.
The 30-year-old woman, who was not identified, was grabbed from behind while walking her small dog at 7 a.m., cops said.
She fought off the would-be rapist and was not injured, police said.
The suspect, a 6-foot man in his late 20s, weighing approximately 180 pounds, was still at large Tuesday morning, police said. He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, blue denim shorts and a brown or red baseball cap, cops said.
Some residents of the quiet block between Broadway and 10th Avenue were both nervous and defiant in the wake of the attack.
“That’s unbelievable,” said Kristein Morgan, 25, who heard the story on the news but didn’t know it happened near her house. “I've gone out biking at 2 and 3 in the morining.”
Maria Bonilla, 65, said she carries pepper spray to defend herself.
"You've got to have six eyes instead of four eyes around here," Bonilla said.
But despite Sunday morning's crime, other residents said they still feel relatively safe on their block.
Thomas Graham, 50, who has lived in Inwood since 1970, said that even after the sex attack, this is the safest that West 212th Street has ever been.
The residents have formed a close-knit community on the block, which houses two daycare centers and a school, and Graham said he wished he could have come to the woman's aid during the attack.
"If I had caught him it would've been street justice," Graham said.
Several residents said they weren't going to let the attack change their routine.
“It’s New York — stuff like this is going to happen no matter what,” said Hannah English, 37, who recently moved to 212th Street from the East Village. “I’m not willing to stay in my apartment. I have to keep on living.”
Lee Davis, a teacher who lives in the area, walked her dog, a pit bull named Captain, on 212th Street Monday afternoon.
“I always feel okay [with Captain],” she said. “Although everyone who knows us knows that he is really nice.”