Updated 10/15/2011 05:04 PM
Copycat Crimes Possible In Brooklyn Sexual Assault Pattern
Brooklyn residents went about their business Saturday, but many said they're unnerved by a string of 20 sexual attacks in the borough that Police Commissioner Ray Kelly suggested may be the result of copycat crimes. NY1’s Rocco Vertuccio filed the following report.
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People in Park Slope went on with their weekend routines Saturday, but they couldn’t forget that someone continues to prey on women in their neighborhood and several others in Brooklyn.
"I think we're nervous. I think women are nervous," said one resident.
The sexual assault pattern has now grown to 20 cases since March in Park Slope, Sunset Park, Windsor Terrace and Greenwood Heights. The most recent attack happened Thursday night on 7th Avenue in Park Slope. Police say a man threatened a woman with a knife and then touched her crotch.
Six other women have been groped near the 7th Avenue Subway Station.
“I think perhaps there’s a, there may be some copycats. There also may be increased awareness of this and perhaps better reporting. I think one of our operating premises is that sex assaults, these types of things are probably under-reported,” said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
In the wake of all this, women say they're being more careful.
"I have definitely been thinking about coming home even at 8:00 at night and walking from Fourth Avenue," said one resident.
Meanwhile, men are expressing worry about the women in their lives.
"Certainly if she were out at night I would be worried, out with friends, so, cabs and try to limit walking if at all possible,” said a New Yorker.
Police arrested Adolfo Martinez, 26, earlier this week. He's accused of groping a woman in Sunset Park Monday night.
Police added six more cases to the pattern after Martinez allegedly told police he had done it before.
Officials believe several suspects are responsible. They've been releasing different sketches for weeks.
"I know there is probably more people out there and so it's unnerving," said one resident.
Despite their fears and concerns, many people in Park Slope say these crimes haven't changed how they feel about their neighborhood overall.
Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.