QUEENS — Police released a sketch Wednesday of a man who they said tried to rape a 10-year-old girl in Jamaica as she made her way to school — a crime that terrified local residents.
The sixth-grader, whose identity was not released, was walking under a railroad overpass near 168th Street and Douglas Avenue when the man shoved her to the ground and tried to rape her about 7:15 a.m. Monday, NYPD and Department of Education officials said.
A car drove by, scaring him off, police said.
The girl was uninjured and continued on to her Fresh Meadows school where she reported the incident to administrators who in turn told police, officials said.
School administrators also told the girl's parents and offered counseling, an education official said.
Parents and residents in the area where the girl was sexually assaulted, said they were shocked.
"I'm terrified," said Sanjida Bagum, 34, a mother of a 4-year-old boy and 11-year-old girl who moved from Jackson Heights last year. "I'm much more careful now," she said.
"I walk them to the bus and I check on my daughter, who has a cell phone, more often," said Bagum.
Mary Mintah, 30, who lives on 173rd Street, has two sons — a 5-year-old and a 1-year-old. "How can someone attack a child?" she asked. "It scares me." Since she found out about the sexual assault, she is trying not to walk in the area by herself, especially when it's dark.
Anson Dey, 37, a mechanic at Pep Boys, which is located near the scene, said he was at work at the time of the incident but didn't see anything. But he said he saw the sketch of the suspect and remains vigilant.
"This morning, I saw someone that looked like the guy and I called it in, but they said it wasn't the guy," he said.
Local Councilman Leroy Comrie said that "these crimes must not be tolerated within our community and we are asking anyone with information to come forward, before this offender has a chance to assault another innocent youth."
"The only way to keep crime levels down is if we work together, and stay vigilant," he added.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).