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Park Slope residents are livid that the police have finally released information from the South Slope Sex Fiend’s first attempted rape — a detail dating back to March that could have been used to nab the sicko and prevent the subsquent 10 other attacks.
The monster tried to assault a woman at 16th Street near Fourth Avenue on March 20, yet only this week — 28 weeks later — did cops release a key piece of information: the thug’s colorful varsity jacket and the specific wording on its back.
“It’s a key detail!” said Aaron Brashear of Concerned Citizens of Greenwood Heights. “Now it’s fall, and that jacket is in the trash.”
Bo Samajopoulos, a South Slope resident, slammed the delay as another frustrating example of police incompetence.
“If you’re releasing information seven months later, it’s absolutely absurd,” he said. “We have a very sad situation on our hands — nothing’s been handled thoughtfully since day one.”
Cops announced on Thursday that the fiend was wearing a letterman jacket with the “Champion” brand name in big block letters on the back. A police spokesman defended the late notification, but would not say why the specific was being released.
“We’re don’t have any suspects, so we’re pulling out all the stops and hoping people will say something,” he said.
The South Slope fiend — or fiends — have attempted to rape 10 women and raped one victim in cases across Park Slope, South Slope, Bay Ridge and Sunset Park.
As cops paper the neighborhoods with three different “Wanted” fliers, many locals say they’re frustrated, confused and uncomfortable with the ramped-up response.
Safe Slope, a neighborhood watch group, penned an open letter to the Police Department on Sept. 28 that alleged that the cops are making women uncomfortable and requested that they undergo sensitivity training.
The group claims that cops have been following women down the street, admonishing them for wearing skirts and therefore making themselves “targets.”
“The police are creating this climate of confusion,” said South Slope resident Sarah Elspeth. “They’ve made themselves very visible, but not in a way that’s very productive.”
Police also came under fire last month for ignoring 911 calls , and a tip from a woman who called Crime Stoppers to report a creep who flashed her on the subway and looked like the South Slope sex fiend.
Back in March, community members slammed police for ignoring their surveillance video of the first attack. It wasn’t until the news media got a hold of the security tape that cops boosted patrols over the area.
In the shocking incident, a man attacked a 24-year-old woman on 16th Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues at 11:30 pm. The victim screamed and struggled to fight him off as he tried to put her in a choke hold and take off her jeans.
Police originally sought only one suspect — described as 5-foot-7 and 165 pounds — but after a series of attempted rapes over the summer, detectives released two more “Wanted” posters.
After attacks in Park Slope on Sept. 8 and Sept. 9, cops announced there was more than one monster on the loose.
“My greatest hope is that the criticism of the Police Department leads to a positive response,” Elspeth said. “I should be able to get accurate and up-to-date information from them. As far as I can see, that’s not happening.”
Anyone with information on the South Slope rapists is asked to call Brooklyn Special Victims Squad at (718) 230-4415, not Crime Stoppers.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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