The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Police Hunt Man in Sex Attack on Elderly Woman on the UES

By Amy Zimmer | May 30, 2011 5:21pm | Updated on May 31, 2011 5:35pm

By Amy Zimmer and Meredith Hoffman

DNAinfo Staff

MANHATTAN — Police are looking for a man in connection with a sexual assault of an 85-year-old woman out for an early Monday morning walk on the Upper East Side.

The unidentified elderly woman, who was attacked at 5:40 a.m. by a man in his 20s, was taken to a nearby hospital where she remained in stable condition, NYPD officials said.

A doorman told the Daily News that the surveillance video showed a tattooed attacker pretending to talk on a cell phone before putting the woman in a headlock on the stoop of a brownstone on Madison Avenue and East 83rd Street.

The attacker reportedly dragged the 100-pound woman along East 83rd Street and down the stairs in front of a building where he forced her to perform oral sex on him. He also allegedly stole a ring before fleeing the scene.

Video of the 5:30 a.m. incident shows the tattooed attacker on the cell phone before he attacked the victim on Madison Avenue and East 83rd Street, a doorman told the paper.

He said his colleague brought the woman into the building and called the police.

The crime shocked and upset many Upper East Siders.

""It makes me want to find him and bash in his skull," said Carol Lewis, 70, who has lived in the neighborhood for 40 years.

"This is the most horrendous thing I've heard about in my life," said Eve Shafer, who's lived in the neighborhood for 20 years and was walking on East 84th Street with her husband. Other crimes in the area made her worried about walking alone.

"I used to walk by myself at night, I'd walk my dog," Shafer said. "But I don't do that anymore."

Elizabeth Messina, who's lived in the neighborhood for 30 years, said she had been mugged twice outside her apartment during the 1980s, "but that's when the city was a mess." And those incidents were nothing compared to what the 85-year-old woman had to endure.

"This woman was so helpless, vulnerable and fragile," she said. "The [attacker] has to be a psychopath."

Peering down at a police flyer, Judith Levine admitted being shaken by the brutal attack

 “It makes you wonder if you’re ever really safe,” said Levine, 81. “It’s very frightening.”

 Maureen Peters said she can't stop thinking about the victim.

 “I’ll keep her in my prayers,” said Peters, 60, who lives nearby. “My heart breaks for this poor woman,” added Fran Strauss.

Even though she was upset at the crime, Faith Weinberg said she would not let it change her routine.

“It makes you feel anxious but then you forget about it,” said Weinberg, 73. “Otherwise you cant live in New York.”

The investigation is ongoing, said police, who released images of the alleged assailant caught on surveillance camera.

Officers were also handing out flyers in the neighborhood Tuesday, after for anybody with information to come forward.

A police officer hands out flyers Tuesday urging help in finding the attacker.
A police officer hands out flyers Tuesday urging help in finding the attacker.
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Meredith Hoffman

Anyone with information should call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Borough President Scott Stringer handed out flyers depicting the alleged attacker and said staffers would be holding a weeklong anti-crime outreach campaign in the neighborhood.