Editorial feature in The Queens Chronicle
by Matt Hampton, Assistant Editor
A rapist preying on women in South Jamaica struck again last weekend, the fifth time since November he has victimized a southeast Queens resident.
The attack occurred Saturday, Jan. 12 at 10:30 p.m. on 109th Avenue in South Jamaica, according to published reports.
It is the third attack to occur near 109th Avenue in which an attacker forces his victim into a secluded area and attempts to sexually assault her. The other two attacks have occurred near Sutphin Boulevard and 118th Avenue. All of the assaults involve the perpetrator approaching his victims and threatening them with a knife.
The attacks in the area have left residents afraid and local leaders clamoring to try and assuage the worries of young women.
State Sen. Shirley Huntley has scheduled a community meeting at Praise Tabernacle Church at 108-11 Sutphin Blvd., Friday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m.
She said the meeting was in response to cries from constituents who are living in fear of the assaults.
“I got several calls from a number of my constituents, people have a lot of concerns,” Huntley said. “Rape and being afraid (of it) are very serious issues.”
She added that the meeting was designed to give officers from the 103rd Precinct a way to talk directly to members of the community and keep people informed.
“With the help of police and different civic groups, people will be aware and on the lookout,” Huntley said. “There are a number of children in the area ... We need to spread the word. Those areas down there are very dark, people get off the bus, walk down side streets. They need to know about this.”
A source familiar with the investigation confirmed that the police in the area have a number of suspects in the investigation, but no one has been taken into custody yet.
The source also said that security in the area had been increased significantly since the attacks began, something that Huntley has advocated. “People will feel safer if they know police are in the area,” she said. “This is a nightmare for this community.”