Police are looking for the driver they say told a 26-year-old woman he was a cabbie before driving her and her three children to a homeless shelter, where he allegedly tried to sexually assault her in front of her children.
The driver picked up the woman and her children on 207th Street in Manhattan early on Sunday, police say. The woman asked the driver to take her and her kids -- ages 1, 3 and 5 -- to the shelter at Queens Boulevard near 51st Avenue, the site of the former Pan Am hotel.
When they got there, police say the man drove around the back of the building and started to assault the woman and her children.
Surveillance footage released by the NYPD (above, warning: some may find the footage disturbing) shows the man pulling the 5-year-old out of the car and putting the child on the sidewalk.
Driver Tried to Sexually Assault Mother in Front of Children: NYPD
The suspect is then seen trying to grab at the woman, who fights him off. Then, the man is seen grabbing the 3-year-old out of a back seat and tossing the child to the sidewalk.
The man gets in the car, and he and mother tussle briefly before the he puts the car in gear and drives off.
The children were taken to Elmhurst Hospital with minor injuries. It wasn’t clear if their mother was hurt.
Aaron Ling, whose family called 911 after hearing screaming, said the mother was panicking.
"She kept screaming, 'Policia! Policia!'" Ling said. "I just ran over here because I thought someone was dying."
Anyone with information on the driver is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.