HARLEM — Police are trying to arrange Broadway tickets and an award for a good Samaritan who stopped a rape in East Harlem last week, and aided police in the suspect's capture, officials said.
"It's an excellent example of how we can work together to prevent crime, catch violent criminals and keep people safe," said Capt. Thomas C. Harnisch, commander of the 25th Precinct, where the attack occurred.
Dale Green was with his wife in their apartment near 138th and Madison Avenue at 3 a.m. on Feb. 18 when he heard screams coming from the street below, police said.
"He knew from the pitch of the screams that it was serious," Harnisch said.
He looked down and saw Demetrius Edwards, 34, of Brooklyn, who police say grabbed a 19-year-old woman as she exited a cab and threw her down between two parked cars.
Edwards began to punch the victim in the face and slam her head into the ice and the ground, police said.
That's when Green began yelling from his window to scare the man off, said Harnisch. Edwards was startled and halted his attack for a moment because he didn't know where the voice was coming from.
Green told his wife to call 911 and then ran downstairs to confront Edwards, who began to run. Green gave chase and police were able to pick Edwards up a short distance away because of the detailed description Green provided, they said.
Edwards, a registered sex offender who was out on parole from an earlier incident, admitted to police that "his intention was to rape a woman that night," Harnisch said.
The victim was treated and released at Harlem Hospital.
In April 2000, Edwards choked, overpowered and then raped a 13-year-old Brooklyn girl at gunpoint, records show. He was deemed by the state Office of Sex Offender Management to be a level 3 sex offender with a high risk of a repeat attack.
In the past decade and a half, Edwards was sent back to prison several times for parole violations and was currently on parole after being released in September 2013.
Edwards is currently being held at Rikers on $150,000 bail and $250,000 bond and is due back in court March 19, records show.
"It will be a long time before he gets out of jail, if he gets out at all," Harnisch said.
Police said that when they began looking to reward Green's community intervention, they learned he's a fan of Broadway shows.
Harnisch said he is working with the New York City Police Foundation to get Green and his wife tickets to the show of his choice. Green will also be honored by the 25th Precinct.
Harnisch said Green wasn't the only good Samaritan — there were also several other 911 calls about the early morning attack from people who lived in the buildings above where the incident occurred.
"It's an excellent example of how people can help us and help each other," Harnisch said.