Attempted rape took place at desolate intersection
DYKER HEIGHTS– Let there be light.
In the wake of the attempted rape of a woman on the corner of Battery Avenue and 86th Street during the early morning hours of Aug. 31, a local lawmaker is requesting that the Department of Transportation install new street lighting at the desolate Dyker Heights intersection.
Councilmember Justin Brannan said he heard numerous complaints from constituents after a 41-year-old woman was attacked on the corner. The intersection is deserted at night, due largely to the fact that there are empty properties on either side of Battery Avenue, he said.
The former site of Nathan’s Famous, at 650 86th St., has been empty since the restaurant closed earlier this year. The School Construction Authority, which purchased the Nathan’s Famous site, plans to build a school at the location. The other side of Battery Avenue contains a gas station that closed.
Brannan, who contacted DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg for help, also reached out to the SCA and asked that agency to install lighting in the lot until the construction of the new school begins.
“As an elected official, my number one priority is, and always will be, public safety. There is nothing more important. So when I heard from residents who were concerned about lighting in this area, I immediately took action. My office is now working with the Department of Transportation and the School Construction Authority to install additional lighting to make this corridor safer after dark,” Brannan told the Home Reporter.
The attempted rape took place on Saturday, Aug. 31 at around 1:20 a.m., according to authorities, who said the victim was walking down the street when the suspect approached her from behind, placed her in a chokehold, told her not to scream and grabbed her breast. The terrified woman managed to break free from the attacker.
Police are offering a $2,500 reward to anyone who leads cops to the suspect. Anyone with information about the incident can call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls are strictly confidential.
Josephine Beckmann, district manager of Community Board 10, said her office has heard from several women who live in the vicinity of Battery Avenue and 86th Street, and are fearful in the wake of the attack.
“One woman told me she has to leave Bay Ridge at 4 o’clock in the morning to get to work. She’s afraid,” Beckmann said. “The board supports the councilman’s efforts. Good lighting is very much needed at this location.”
Brannan has also asked Capt. Robert Conwell, the commanding officer of the 68th Precinct, to assign additional police patrols to the area while cops hunt for the suspect. “We’ve worked with Capt. Conwell to step up patrols in this area as the investigation to bring this perpetrator to justice continues,” he said.
“Violence against women in Dyker Heights will not be tolerated. Not on my watch,” Brannan added.
“We are aware of Councilmember Brannan’s concerns and have requested an expedited lighting survey at this location,” a DOT spokesperson told this paper.
Update: The article has been added to include a statement from the Department of Transportation.