JACKSON HEIGHTS — City Councilman Daniel Dromm hit the streets Thursday to urge residents in his district to be on the lookout for a man accused of sexually abusing two young girls earlier this week.
Dromm canvassed Jackson Heights near the apartment where the alleged abuse occurred and handed out fliers with images of the suspect.
"A crime like this is horrific," Dromm said. “The best way to capture a person like this is to keep it in the media, and to let the people and residents in the community know what has happened here."
Police said the suspect, whose image was captured on surveillance cameras, walked into the Jackson Heights building and entered the first-floor laundry room about 7 p.m. Monday. That's where he allegedly confronted the two young girls — who are 4- and 9-years-old — and touched them inappropriately, before fleeing the scene.
Dromm said the building, owned by the Hillcrest Owners Association, has had a history of problems. The councilman said he lived there from 1981 until 1988, when he left because of security concerns after somebody was raped in the building's old laundry room, which was in the basement.
“I am concerned because I hear complaints from some of the residents that are living here, in terms of security," Dromm said.
The building's owner could not immediately be reached for comment.
Johnny Garcia, who has been superintendent at the building for 17 years, said he didn't recognize the man, and doubted that he had a key to the building.
"No one can make a copy," Garcia said. "If anyone wants a copy, they need to inform the management first.”
In the video, released by police on Wednesday, suspect, the who has short, dark hair, was seen wearing a blue-and-white-striped zip-up hoodie. He slipped into the building behind another person.
The investigation is ongoing, police said.
Dromm said his office would continue working with the NYPD to find the suspect.
“Our goal is to protect our children, first and foremost,” Dromm said.
Police are asking anyone with information to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS, or by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at nypdcrimestoppers.com, or texting tips to 274637(CRIMES) and entering TIP577.