‘Why are you touching me?’: NYC police search for suspect following attempted rape of elderly woman in elevator

Police are searching for a man who allegedly tried to rape a 74-year-old woman as she rode in the elevator of her Bronx apartment, according to CBS New York.

The incident allegedly occurred Friday night after the woman, later identified as Ana Ventura, and the suspect got in the same elevator. Surveillance footage caught the man appearing to talk on a cell phone as a walker belonging to Ventura can be seen in the background, investigators note.

“He had his arm around my neck and with his right hand he was touching my whole body, touching my whole body,” Ana Ventura told WNBC via a translator. “He was touching my bottom, and I was quiet, I was nervous.”

After the elevator reached the 11th floor, police said the man followed the woman into a hallway—where he choked and groped her as she helplessly stood in front of her apartment door, according to the New York Post.

The woman told WNBC that she had asked the man if he was getting off on the floor. He didn’t respond, only gesturing that she could walk out the elevator first. Ventura recalled walking down the narrow hallway when she suddenly felt the suspect touch her shoulder.

“I told him, ‘Hey, what is wrong with you?'” the 74-year-old said. “I still did not look at his face. I just said, ‘What is wrong with you?’ ‘Why are you touching me?'”

The NYPD said Ventura managed to knock on a neighbor’s door for help, leading the man to flee. Fortunately, the woman was unharmed in the attack.

A neighbor, who allegedly spoke with Ventura, claims the man also tried to go into her purse and got on top of her.

“She’s traumatized—she’s messed up, man,” the neighbor commented.

The suspect is described as being about 20 years old and approximately 5-foot-7-inches tall. He was last seen wearing a black baseball cap, two-toned Jordan sneakers, a black short-sleeved shirt, and black shorts.

Anyone who witnessed Friday’s incident or knows the suspect’s identity is encouraged to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

[Featured Image: Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information (DCPI)]