Police are looking for a man they say sneaked into a Harlem apartment and tried to rape a 59-year-old woman sleeping inside, grabbing her by the ankle and trying to pull her pajama pants down.
The victim told NBC 4 New York on Thursday she was dozing off to the flicker of her television when she suddenly felt someone tug at her leg at about 12:30 a.m. on Sept. 1.
"I said, 'No, no!'" the grandmother recalled screaming. "I was thinking he was going to kill me, he was going to do something. The man said, 'shhh.'"
But the woman refused to be quiet and continued screaming, and the suspect ran out of the apartment through an open living room window.
The woman wasn’t injured in the assault. She said she snapped a mental picture of her attacker.
"I focused my face onto his face. He was double my size. He was fat," she said.
The victim said she remains afraid days after the attack and is scared to close her eyes. She does not want to stay at her apartment, and hopes an arrest will ease her worries and allow her to sleep again.
"When I try to sleep, it seems like his face is right in front of me," she said.
After meeting with the survivor, East Harlem community advocate Clark Pena hit the streets to warn neighbors about the attack.
"That's my mom, that's my grandma. For her to go through a trauma like this, it's completely unacceptable," said Pena.
Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.
Follow Marc Santia on Twitter @MarcSantia4NY