The assault took place around 12:15 a.m. in the 200-block of East 87th Street. A 23-year-old woman was approached by a man at gunpoint when she was walking along the sidewalk. She was forced into a nearby gangway between two homes and was sexually assaulted. Witnesses called police when they heard her scream for help. The victim was taken to Trinity Hospital where she is recovering.
Police chased the suspect, who took off on foot. He was caught and taken into custody. Sources say police are looking into the man possibly being involved with other sexual assaults in the area, including the sexual assault of a woman waiting for a bus at a bus stop in Roseland.
The assault happened outside of Raymond Goldsmith's house. He said he had no idea until the police rang his doorbell.
"I do not know why I did not hear it. I usually hear everything that was on the other side. I usually hear most everything on this side," said Goldsmith.
Goldsmith said his air conditioning unit was moved.
Neighbors say another off-duty policeman lives across the street and chased the suspect on foot and caught him.
"He was out here and had just got off from work. He checks the alleys of the time and saw what was going on and he helped catch the guy," said neighbor Ernestine King.
The street lights are out along this stretch of 87th Street, and King says it makes as impossible for people to watch their surroundings.
"In between the houses is where they can do anything they want. I explained it to 311 and we still haven't got no lights," she said.
"My sister or my husband pretty much walk me to my car. We just look around," said neighbor Linda Wright.