Residents demand answers on series of sex attacks
Less than a week after a Bensonhurst man was arrested on chargesof raping and robbing a 28-year-old Sunset Park woman, dozens ofBrooklyn residents of all ages, genders and ethnicities came out tovoice their confusions, complaints and concerns at Community Board7’s Public Safety Committee meeting, held on Monday, June 13.Their questions, which ranged from sex crime-specific concerns tobroader quality-of-life issues relating to noise and harassmentoutside a nightclub, were answered to varying degrees by DeputyInspector Raul Pintos of the 72nd Precinct, which covers SunsetPark, Greenwood Heights and parts of Park Slope.Regarding the June 4 rape inside an apartment vestibule on 27thStreet and the two attempted rapes on March 20 and May 29, Pintosclarified that, although the three incidents were initiallypublicized as the work of one attacker, only the rape victimpositively identified 24-year-old William Giraldo as herassailant.In addition, Pintos noted that while the three victims provided thesame description of their attacker(s), there may have been adifferent [pattern] in the Third Avenue case on May 29. Therefore,police are still searching for a male Hispanic in his 20s inconnection with the two attempted rapes.A police source separately noted to some residents that there wasDNA evidence in the rape case, whereas none was available from theother two attacks.Information was less forthcoming when residents asked why there wasa delay in response to the March 20 sexual assault in on 16thStreet.Why was there no warning? The woman called. People had the video.We called 9-1-1. We didn’t get any information until after the newsbroke, a female Park Slope resident asked Pintos, who respondedsimply that police didn’t have all the info at the time.But we have it on tape that the guy offered the tape. Then thecops just drove away, insisted a male resident, referring to thefact that a homeowner’s surveillance camera captured the assault onvideo. Pintos maintained that, That’s not how it happened.An Internal Affairs Bureau investigation has been launched on theNYPD response in that case, according to published newsreports.The June 4 rape was the fourth in a series of attacks on women insouthwest Brooklyn over the last three months. Giraldo, a liverycab driver who lives in Bensonhurst and turned himself in to policeafter seeing his image aired on TV, maintains his innocence in allfour cases. He was arraigned on June 9 – what would have been hiswedding day. Bail was set at $200,000.As the meeting concluded and residents filed out of CB 7’s officeson 43rd Street, they expressed mixed feelings about whether theyfeel any safer, having spoken with and heard directly from localpolice.Overall, I feel the evening was a positive step in betterintegrating the community, community board and 72nd Precinct into adialog that will increase the precinct’s effectiveness in thecommunity, hopefully in a more proactive way, not just reactive tocrime and quality-of-life issues, said board member AaronBrashear.Others still expressed some frustration. I feel like it was a lotof misinformation and [canned] police responses, said Mirem, aPark Slope resident.Let’s start getting some accountability, working together and not[ignoring] people, said Bo Samajopoulos, a Sunset Parkresident.There is a lot of sexual harassment in the neighborhood, notedSunset Park resident Lisa Maione. I want to come home and not beyelled at for having my hair up or down, for being on a bike, forbeing a woman.
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