NYPD Special Victims hunting for rapist
The 12-year-old girl was in her school uniform, wearing pigtails. She clutched her princess lunch box as she got off the Bronx bus after tutoring, and that’s when the rapist grabbed her by the arm.
“If you scream, I’m gonna kill you,” he said, according to police. The stranger dragged her roughly, turning down an alley where he brutally attacked her.
The crime took place Feb. 24, 2015. And, despite DNA evidence and surveillance footage of the attack, no arrests have been made. As the anniversary nears, the Special Victims Division detective on the case is pleading for anyone with information to send a tip through the Crime Stoppers website or call the hotline.
“She was just a baby,” said Det. Diane Crowley. “This is the worst of the worst.”
Surveillance footage shows a young man in tan cargo pants, wearing a blue jacket with a hood and a hat. His face is blurry, but it’s not impossible to recognize. Part of the problem, Crowley thinks, is the suspect also was young, probably 14 to 16 years old. She thinks people are afraid of being wrong and turning in an innocent kid.
“Obviously, with the forensic evidence, there’s no way the wrong kid will go to jail for this,” she said. “I just think after three years, you told somebody, you told part of it to somebody. A mom saw it. Someone knows something.”
There’s a reward of more than $22,000 for any tips leading to an arrest.
Crowley is haunted by the case. She said when she arrived at the hospital, the little girl was in a bed, still in her uniform, but it was ripped and dirty. Her glasses were askew.
She had a hard time explaining the attack to police.