NYPD Delay in Taped Brooklyn Attack

By Pei-Sze Cheng
|  Saturday, Apr 23, 2011  |  Updated 10:09 AM EDT
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A late-night attack on a woman walking down a quiet Brooklyn street was captured on surveillance video.

A late-night attack on a woman walking down a quiet Brooklyn street was captured on surveillance video.

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Security Cameras Capture Brooklyn Attack

The tape is hard to watch, but what may be more upsetting is what we've learned about the initial police investigation.
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Witnesses to a vicious attempted sexual assault caught on security camera say NYPD detectives at first refused to accept the video as evidence.

Ray Zielinski owns the security camera that filmed the assault outside a home in Brooklyn.  He told NBC New York he heard a woman's cries for help and ran outside to see a man attempting to sexually assault her from behind.

"It was her cries that really saved her," Zielinski said. "You can't hear those cries and ignore them."

The March 20 attack happened around 11:30 p.m. on 16th Street near Fourth Avenue in Park Slope.

On the video, you can see the man pull up his pants before running across the street. He got away before police arrived. Zielinski and his neighbor, Donald Harrington, say they tried to give the video to police as evidence.

"Ray kept saying 'I have the whole tape,'" said Harrington. "But the police said, 'we don't have a victim, we don't have a suspect. If we need the tape we'll come back for it.'"

NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne says the victim did not report the attack at the time detectives spoke to Zielinski, but added, "nonetheless, police should have taken possession of the video sooner.‬‪"

Police confirm they are investigating the attempted sexual assault of a 24-year-old woman.

Those who live on this quiet block say they should have been warned about this attacker weeks ago.

"It's a safety issue. I have two teens, one's a girl," said Rosie DeInnocientiis. "I would have wanted to know."

Another resident said "there are many young women who walk this block. There are a lot of single, young women who walk alone here at all hours of the night."

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