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Another Woman Attacked on the Upper East Side

By Meredith Hoffman | June 1, 2011 6:42am | Updated on June 1, 2011 1:12pm
Cops are investigating the attacks on two women on the Upper East Side.
Cops are investigating the attacks on two women on the Upper East Side.
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DNAinfo/Meredith Hoffman

By Meredith Hoffman

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

UPPER EAST SIDE — A 25-year-old woman narrowly escaped being raped on the Upper East Side last week, just a few blocks away from where an 85-year-old woman was sexually assaulted on Monday, police told DNAinfo.

Witnesses heard the terrified young woman screaming just before 5 a.m. on May 22 after a man grabbed her as she pulled out her keys in the doorway of her building on East 90th Street, close to Lexington Avenue.

"Call 911, he"s attacking me!" the 25-year-old woman screamed in the predawn darkness, witnesses said.

"I heard her scream … and I called 911," said witness Sarah Bramwell, 31. "He grabbed her from behind and threw her down and was trying to pull her dress up."

Luckily, a doorman in a building across the street heard the attack and raced to help the woman — sending the attacker fleeing.

"The doorman saw it, it happened so quickly," Bramwell said. "The doorman stopped it."

Police confirmed that they were investigating a report of an attempted rape on a 25-year-old woman who was assaulted just before 5 a.m. on May 22. They said the suspect was a white male, and added that there was no evidence linking that attack to the suspect believed responsible for the attack an 85-year-old woman on Monday.

Investigators searching for the man accused of attacking the 85-year-old woman released more video Tuesday night, showing the man strolling down the street before the attack.

Residents said the co-op board for the building across the street from the East 90th Street attack scene sent an email to residents warning them about the frightening assault.

Neighbor Sandra Gooder, 70, said she wasn't surprised to hear about the rape attempt in the neighborhood, which can be desolate in the hours before dawn.

"We are lucky to have doormen," Gooder said. "They are looking out for people."

A supervisor at the building where the doorman works praised him for stopping the rape — and said he hopes cops find the attacker soon.

"It took a lot of nerve for him to go out there," said the supervisor, who asked that his name not be used.

Chris Jacques, 25, whose girlfriend lives in the building on East 90th Street, said the doorman is a hero.

"He was very sheepish and humble-seeming," Jacques said. "He doesn't want to be seen as a hero, but, I mean, he is."

"All these doormen are so amazing," added Alison Cintra, 40, another resident. "They're on patrol, looking out for the neighborhood. It doesn't surprise me he helped."

Murray Weiss contributed reporting to this story.