With Nightclub Stalker Still On The Loose, Clubs and Cops Take Action

Abusive BehaviorSexual AssaultCrimeNew York City Police DepartmentBusinessDining and DrinkingBars and Clubs

A predator who followed a woman home from a red hot club in the Meatpacking District and sexually abused her is still on the loose. PIX11 News has learned that law enforcement and businesses in the neighborhood where that assault took place are actively trying to prevent another attack and trying to catch this man. At the same time, however, few people in the area seem to know about the crime and its perpetrator.

On surveillance video, the man is well-dressed and well-groomed minutes after forcing his way into a woman's apartment and sexually assaulting her, according to police. He had apparently followed the 23 year-old after she'd had a night out at one of the clubs at the very popular Standard Hotel. When she'd gotten to her building at 2:00 A.M. Thursday of last week, the man forced her into her building and then into her apartment, where he sexually assaulted her.

A manhunt is on now, but among women who hang out in the West Village and Meatpacking District hotspots, there appears to be little knowledge of this case, even though the suspect behind the crime could strike again.

"If we haven't heard about it," a woman who works three blocks away from the Standard Hotel and is a regular patron there, said, "I don't know if a lot women have." She learned about the open sex assault case only when PIX11 mentioned it to her on the street. She and a friend who also is a regular at the Standard, said they had heard nothing from any of the clubs and businesses in the area, or from law enforcement.

PIX11 News has learned that NYPD patrols in the 6th and 10th precincts, which cover the area in question, have wanted posters of the suspect that are used by officers internally -- they have them in their cruisers and within the precincts, but no wanted poster has yet to be distributed to the public.

Despite that, law enforcement sources tell PIX11 News that the NYPD is keeping a big presence over the weekend in the West Village and Meatpacking District, and people in the neighborhood confirm it. PIX11 observed police cruisers doing frequent patrols in the area as the weekend began, and PIX11 has learned that undercover cops from the special victims unit and social club task force will be out on the street and in the clubs.

Also, ever since Immette Saint Guillen was murdered after she left a club five years ago, many of Manhattan's nightclub employees have worked with the NYPD to try and prevent crimes. Paul Seres, president of the Nightclub Alliance, says that everyone from bartenders to busboys is on alert.

"They're trained to guard against someone over-consuming [alcohol], so why not be aware of someone there to take advantage of somebody who has over-consumed." Seres says that his organization is working with the NYPD and the NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault to develop a curriculum to educate nightlife industry workers on ways to help prevent patrons from becoming victimized by sexual predators.

Nonetheless, word about the most recent sex attack does not seem to be getting out effectively enough to have a lot of people aware of what happened, or aware of the possibility of it happening again. One woman blamed law enforcement for not spreading the word more strongly. "I just think that they don't want people in the neighborhood to be alarmed," she said.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Abusive BehaviorSexual AssaultCrimeNew York City Police DepartmentBusinessDining and DrinkingBars and Clubs
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