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WaHi Sex Attacker Looked Like a 'Hipster,' Cops Say

By Carla Zanoni | June 23, 2011 2:08pm

By Carla Zanoni

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Police released new information about a sexual assault in Washington Heights, including a more detailed description of the suspect's appearance.

Capt. Jose Navarro of the 34th Precinct told residents Wednesday night that the suspect had multiple lip piercings, two nautical star tattoos on the backs of his calves and was wearing a multi-colored beanie hat.

"He had a particular look," Navarro said, describing the hat as "something a hipster would wear."

He was speaking at the first 34th Precinct Community Council meeting since the incident.

Cops say the suspect allegedly followed a 32-year-old woman as she left the 181st Street A train station at approximately 1 a.m. on June 12.

He attacked her near West 184th Street and Broadway, attempting to remove her underwear and sexually assault her before she fought him off, according to Navarro.

Witnesses called 911 during the attack, Navarro said. It was not clear whether any of them also intervened to help her. 

"There were plenty of witnesses in this attack," Navarro said. "The only reason this did not go further is that there were plenty of good Samaritans who helped."

Police have already released video footage of the suspect fumbling with his MetroCard as he fled the scene. The turnstile malfunction served to keep the suspect posed in front of the camera.

Navarro said police have exhausted leads on the case, as well as the other two sexual assaults that took place over the weekend of June 10-12, and are looking to the public to provide tips.

Women throughout the area said they have been on high alert since the string of attacks. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or text their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.