According to Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer's office, at about 5:45 a.m., a 30-year-old Sunnyside woman was sexually attacked by a male in his late 20s. Novak heard the woman and chased away her attacker.
“One sexual assault against any woman in this city is one too many,” Van Bramer said in a statement responding to the incident.
He said Sunnyside is one of the safest communities in New York City.
“We will track down this cowardly criminal and make sure he is punished and put away,” Van Bramer said.
The attack followed a string of sexual assaults against Hispanic women between the ages of 19 and 47 in Jackson Heights from Thursday, April, 22, through Monday, April 2.
While a police sketch of the assailant in the Jackson Heights cases has been released, the suspect has not yet been connected to the Sunnyside incident.
Van Bramer held a press conference Tuesday morning along with other Sunnyside representatives, as the community fears a repeat of last summer when a rash of sexual assaults spread through the streets of Queens and Brooklyn.
“Women in our community should feel comfortable riding the subway, walking the streets and going about their daily activities without feeling threatened,” State Senator Michael Gianaris said in a statement.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio also spoke out against the incidents in Queens.
“These incidents spread fear across entire neighborhoods,” de Blasio said.
However, he added, “There are simple steps each of us can take to reduce the risk of sexual assault, and we are working to put those common-sense precautions into the hands of Queens residents who may be at risk.”
To do so, de Blasio, along with Assemblyman Francisco Moya, State Senator Jose Peralta and Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras distributed roughly 1,000 bilingual information pamphlets entitled “How You Can Prevent Sexual Assault & Harassment” near the 74th Street, 82nd Street and Junction Boulevard subway stations in Jackson Heights and Corona on Tuesday afternoon.
The guide suggests planning walking routes along well-lit streets with high foot traffic and having keys in-hand before reaching a door.
It also recommends intervening in a suspected harassment by asking “Is this person bothering you?” or causing a distraction to stop the incident.
In the case of being a victim, the pamphlet advises to yell and make a scene to scare off an assailant.
The full guide can be downloaded at Advocate.nyc.gov/safercommunities.
Police ask that anyone with information about the assaults call 800-577-TIPS. Tipsters can also log into NYPDcrimestoppers.com or text TIP577 to 274637 (CRIMES).