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Victim Talks About Horror Of Being Groped By West Village Home Invader

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Police continued Friday to search for the suspect who they say entered a West Village apartment and groped a woman as she slept, and the woman said nearly two days later that she is not afraid.

As CBS2's Ilana Gold reported, police want everyone in the West Village to be on alert for the suspect. They said he walked behind a building at West 10th and Hudson streets at 5 a.m. Thursday, scaled the fire escape, and broke into the woman's second-floor apartment through an open window.

"It's horrifying; frightening," said Linda Cohn of the West Village.

Search Continues For West Village Burglary, Groping Suspect

It was especially frightening since the man is accused of groping the 43-year-old woman while she was fast asleep. She woke up, and the stranger took off.

CBS2's Scott Rapoport talked with the 43-year-old IT project manager who was the victim of the assault.
Rapoport spoke with the woman inside of her apartment, and she did not want to be seen or heard on camera.

"He touched me inappropriately," she said. "I was asleep. I woke up because he touched me."

The woman said the suspect ran away down the fire escape.

"Her window was open, and she was telling me she was asleep, and then she opened her eyes, and it was like a dream to her, and she sees the man in front of her," the building's superintendent told CBS2's Gold. "It's very, very lucky she's alive today."

The superintendent told CBS2 he tried calming the woman down after she got violated.

"This is the first time in happened in 25 years I'm here," he said.

Another concern is that the incident happened right across the street from the 6th Police Precinct. Police rushed over as soon as she called for help.

"She just seemed very frazzled. She was describing what happened, how she woke up and there was a man in her apartment," Catherine Olsen told Gold. Olsen saw the victim talking to police after the incident. "She just seemed very shaken up."

People in the neighborhood were also frazzled, because as of Friday afternoon, the suspect had not been found. Police were warning neighbors to lock up – and many were taking the warning seriously.

"You just have to be really careful," said Monica Meehan of the West Village. "Especially in the summertime, close your windows -- which is such a shame, because you just don't want to feel that you're imprisoned in your own place."

Emily Bossa, who lives upstairs from the victim, also told 1010 WINS' Al Jones the incident is a reminder.

"I always make sure it's all locked and secure," she said.

Surprisingly, the woman told CBS2 her experience has not left her frightened.

"I am not afraid," she said. "It's just disappointing that there is an element out there that can do this to someone."

The NYPD said the suspect is wanted in connection with a prior burglary in the precinct.

The woman he's accused of groping said, "I want this person caught so he's not in emboldened to do something more extreme to another woman."

Police have been putting up fliers in the area and urging residents to lock their windows.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). You can also submit tips to the Crime Stoppers website, or text your tip to CRIMES (274637) and then entering TIP577.

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