Amid Spate of Sex Attacks, Anti-Violence Rally Planned in Brooklyn | NBC New York

Amid Spate of Sex Attacks, Anti-Violence Rally Planned in Brooklyn



    (Published Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011)

    As police investigate a spate of sex attacks on women in Brooklyn, an anti-violence rally is planned for Wednesday night.

    UPDATE: Hundreds Rally Against Brooklyn Sex Attacks

    There may be as many as three attackers preying on women in Brooklyn, with the most recent assaults reported on Sept. 8 and 9, police said.

    Police have linked eight sexual assaults in Park Slope and Sunset Park since March, including one rape. They're now investigating whether the most recent attacks fit alargerpattern.

    At a community meeting in Sunset Park Tuesday night, NYPD's 72nd Precinct Commander Raul Pintos told worried women that police were working hard to catch the predators.

    "I personally have been out there walking in plain clothes, walking around trying to identify this individual," said Pintos.

    Women in the neighborhood said they were tired of constantly looking over their shoulders and fearing attacks.

    "We are counting on the police department to do their job and do it well," said Maria Roca, of Friends of Sunset Park, a neighborhood organization.

    Police distributed sketches of the two suspected attackers and urged people to keep their eyes open.

    "After looking at video and talking to some of the complainants, the description of the individual seems to vary," said Pintos.

    One man is described as skinny, and the other more muscular.

    There's been an increased interest in self-defense classes in the neighborhood, according to Center for Anti-Violence's Tracy Hobson.

    "There's people who are really afraid," said Hobson. "They're afraid to leave their houses after dark, they're carrying weapons they don't know how to use. The thing about our classes is they can help people feel stronger, more empowered and have more options to handle different situations that might come up."

    Self-defense classes at the Center for Anti Violence are free for victims of sexual assault or domestic violence.