Newly released surveillance video of the man suspected of grabbing a 13-year-old girl at knifepoint as she walked to school in Brooklyn Tuesday morning shows him stalking the girl before he gets momentarily distracted by another woman who passes him on the street, police say.
The video shows the man following the girl around a corner in East New York, but stops and turns when a woman passes him from the opposite direction on the sidewalk. He stares after the other woman, then begins following her instead.
Police said the man followed the woman until he saw her going into the subway. He then turned back around and continued to follow the 13-year-old girl, who was headed to her friend's house to pick her up on the way to school, her friend told NBC 4 New York Tuesday.
The man grabbed the girl by the arm, showed a knife and threatened to sexually abuse her, police said. He forced her to walk with him, demanding she keep quiet.
The victim said something to her attacker to prompt him to flee, but he took her cellphone before running, according to police and her friend.
The girl ran to her friend's house, where the mother called police.
The friend, also 13, spoke to NBC 4 New York with the permission of her mother Tuesday and related what happened.
"We were going to go to school, I came downstairs and I saw her running and she was crying," said the friend. "I asked what happened and she said, 'Somebody tried to take me.'"
The man "held a knife to her face and said 'Come with me and hold my hand so it doesn't look suspicious,' so then she walked to the corner and that's when he started to tell her what he was going to do to her," said the victim's friend.
The girl is physically OK, but shaken up, her friend said.
Community activists rallied Tuesday night, concerned about another teenage girl being preyed upon, days after an alleged gang rape in Brownsville.
"I want to be very clear to individuals that would do this, that would set upon these young ladies in our community: you will not get away with this," said community activist Tony Herbert.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.