By WCBS Team, John Dias, Nick Caloway
New York (WCBS) — A woman was attacked and sexually assaulted Sunday morning as she ran along the Hudson River greenway in lower Manhattan.
Police said that attack took place just before sunrise. The suspect knocked the woman down and sexually assaulted her.
The NYPD is still looking for the man responsible. Investigators released surveillance images of the man wanted for questioning in the horrific incident.
A 39-year-old woman was jogging northbound on the running path near Pier 40. Police say the suspect was riding a bicycle when he approached the victim. He then allegedly knocked her down, and choked and sexually assaulted her.
The suspect stole her cellphone and took off on his bike.
“That kind of [expletive] shouldn’t happen in our city,” said a Union Square resident.
New Yorkers who frequently run and walk the greenway were in disbelief that someone was attacked in the area.
“Because like what’s going on with the crime and all that, I feel like it’s very important to make sure that we’re staying safe and looking out for each other,” said Daniella Sanchez of Greenwich Village.
As the city grapples with a crushing surge in violence, sex crimes are also on the rise. According to NYPD data, 386 rapes have been reported so far this year. That’s a 23 percent increase over the same time span last year.
The category of “other sex crimes” rose as well, 17 percent.
“I’ve always felt really safe, or naive, maybe,” Kitty Preston said.
Preston, 70, said she walks five miles per day with the help of a cane.
“And so I cover, say, from Chelsea all the way down to Battery Park,” she said.
Preston said she can’t help but worry about the recent wave of violence, so she’s careful about what time of day she goes out by herself.
“There are more people out later in the day than there are in the early morning. Hedge your bets with: when are the most people out?” she said.
The victim in Sunday’s attack was taken to the hospital with pain and bruising.
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