Dozens of women packed a Laurelton church in Queens Wednesday, concerned over a recent string of sex attacks in the area, including one just a few blocks from where the meeting was held.
"We're really quite concerned," said Veronica Bellan of Laurelton. "I hope that person will be caught soon."
The public safety meeting was organized by City Councilman James Sanders, who was critical of police for not solving the cases.
"We need you to find these fellows, and we don't need them found seven victims from now," said Sanders. "You better catch this guy."
Police are investigating at least eight recent sex attacks in Queens, including in Laurelton, Jamaica, and Springfield Gardens. In the Jamaica incident, a woman was raped while threatened with a box cutter.
The terrifying reports have set women in the area on edge, and some have changed their routines.
"I have to supervise my daughter going to the bus to go to school," said parent Ann Marie Andrews. "Changing routes, transportation, stopping and looking back. And if someone's walking behind me, I let them pass me."
Another mother, Reba Perry, said she was also keeping a closer eye on her teenage daughters and their friends.
"They walk in twos, and if they can't, they know to get in a cab," she said.
Separately, in Brooklyn, police are investigating a string of up to 20 sex attacks. One man, 26-year-old Adolfo Martinez, was arrested last week in a groping incident. And police Tuesday arrested a 32-year-old man believed to be connected to a May 7 assault, but the charges were dropped Wednesday when the victim who had picked him out of a lineup changed her mind.
Police do not believe the sexual assaults in the two boroughs are related.