Suspect in Village Stairwell Sex Assault Also Sought in Groping

A suspect being sought in a Manhattan sex assault is wanted in connection with an earlier groping case in the same neighborhood, according to police.

Authorities say a man followed a 19-year-old woman into the elevator lobby of an apartment on Roosevelt Drive in the East Village on Dec. 16 and grabbed her buttocks and breasts.

The man attempted to kiss the woman, but a struggle ensued and the victim fled, according to police. The suspect grabbed the woman’s buttocks again before fleeing.

Police say the same man is believed to have sexually assaulted another woman Sunday in the stairwell of an East Village building on East Sixth Street.

In an area full of families, single women, students and seniors, people are taking their safety seriously. 

"I usually look before I go to the elevator, before I put my kids inside," said neighbor Rosaanna Gomez.

Neighbor Helen Owolabi, who lives with two other women in their 20s, said the news of the assaults was "really scary." 

Residents say they've seen a heightened police presence in the area. 

Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. 

-- Danielle Elias contributed to this report. 

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