HARLEM—A good Samaritan helped to thwart the attempted rape of a 19-year-old woman in East Harlem early Tuesday by a registered sex offender who previously raped a 13-year-old girl at gunpoint.
According to police, the woman got out of a yellow cab at about 4:30 a.m. and was walking along Madison Avenue when Demetrius Edwards, 34, of Brooklyn, allegedly grabbed the woman and threw her down between two parked cars.
Police say Edwards began slamming the woman's head into the ice and snow.
A witness heard the woman's screams and called 911, giving a detailed description of the suspect. The witness then left his building and approached Edwards who ran off but was stopped and arrested by police minutes later.
According to records, Edwards choked, overpowered and then raped the 13-year-old Brooklyn girl at gunpoint in April 2000.
He was deemed by the state Office of Sex Offender Management to be a level 3 predicate sex offender with a high risk of a repeat attack who posed a continued threat to public safety.
When he was released in 2009, Edwards moved to his parents' Long Island City apartment where he drew the attention of neighbors because of the proximity to a school, according to the New York Daily News.
Neighbors also complained that Edwards lingered outside the apartment building while walking his parents' dog during school hours. Some neighbors felt the dog might be used in an attempt to lure kids, the paper reported.
Edwards has been charged with attempted rape in Tuesday's attack.
The victim was transported to Harlem Hospital where she was treated and released.