Police nab suspect in Stuyvesant Town attempted rape

By Sabina Mollot

Police have arrested a suspect in the attempted rape of a woman in her building in Stuyvesant Town.

Twenty-six-year-old Juan Scott, who resided at 544 East 13th Street, has been charged with attempted rape.

It was around 4 a.m. on Friday, when a man followed a 20-year-old resident into the building and then tried to rape her.

He finally fled the elevator after she screamed and struggled.

The suspect, seen in surveillance video, was seen climbing down a tree after running off to escape.

The woman was badly injured and treated at Beth Israel Medical Center, according to a post on the ST-PCV Tenants Association website.

In response to the suspect getting collared on Sunday morning, Council Member Dan Garodnick praised the NYPD’s 13th Precinct and the Special Victims Unit.

“This was a horrific assault in our community, and we are lucky and grateful to have a police force that investigated this crime with urgency and competence,” Garodnick said. “I also want to thank the management and security of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village for working collaboratively with the NYPD. Residents of the community will rest easier knowing that an arrest has been made.”

The building on East 13th Street where he was picked up is the squat where actress Rosario Dawson grew up. The Villager has since reported that Scott is Dawson’s cousin and had been living in the building’s bike room.

On Tuesday, Scott was arraigned on charges of attempted rape, sexual abuse and burglary that was sexually motivated.

In addition to the attempted rape in Stuyvesant Town, Scott was charged with sexually abusing two other women. One of the alleged incidents was at a building on East 13th Street in September. The other reported incident took place at a building on East 11th Street in June.

In the alleged September incident, after sexually abusing the victim, he also harassed the woman afterwards, by making threatening phone calls and sending her 38 texts, telling her he was going to find her and that she’d better drop the charges against him.

In the June incident, he allegedly followed a woman into her building and as she tried to get into her apartment, ripped her dress up before forcefully grabbing her crotch.

Scott’s Legal Aid attorney, Andrew Bernstein, has not responded to a request for comment.

Scott’s next court appearance is scheduled for Friday, October 24.

Meanwhile, the ST-PCV Tenants Association has expressed relief about the arrest but also disappointment that residents hadn’t received any communication from management on the attack or the arrest.

“No flyers were posted with the man’s image, even though PCV/ST management turned over security footage to the police,” the TA said in an email to tenants. “Neither were flyers posted about the Stuy Town Groper.”

In contrast, John Marsh, the president of the Tenants Association noted, when there’s a major crime in the East Village, there are normally flyers everywhere.

“For the future safety of our neighbors we urge a return to the long tradition of PCV/ST management and NYPD’s timely sharing of safety awareness information with our community,” Marsh said.

Susan Steinberg, chair of the ST-PCV Tenants Association, said she thought this could be because “CW is a financial servicer and not really a landlord in the traditional sense. Perhaps they don’t understand some of the responsibilities they have towards tenants, but I think they have an obligation to keep the community updated on what’s going on.”

She also told T&V that there used to be plaques in each building lobby warning tenants “to shut the door behind you, even if it seems impolite.” But a few years ago, the plaques disappeared. She added that while the complex has had a reputation for being safe, it’s become less so since it became “luxury.”

CWCapital has not yet issued any comment on the alleged attempted rape or the arrest.

Note: This article has been updated to include information from the Tenants Association and about charges filed against Scott on Tuesday.

Thirteenth Precinct Community Council meeting on Tuesday

Deputy Inspector Dave Ehrenberg at the 13th Precinct (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Deputy Inspector David Ehrenberg at the 13th Precinct (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Members of the community are invited to the next meeting of the 13th Precinct Community Council, which is scheduled for Tuesday, October 21 at 6:30 p.m.

The 13th Precinct Community Council meets on the third Tuesday of the month from September to June at the precinct, located at 230 East 21st Street, between Second and Third Avenues.

The Community Council provides a forum for community members to work with local police officers to address safety and quality of life issues.

This has been a busy month for major crime in the 13th Precinct’s catchment area, with an attempted rape in Stuyvesant Town, a heroin bust at Waterside Plaza and armed robberies of businesses.

Agenda for the meeting:

I. Report from the precinct’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector David Ehrenberg

II. Comments and questions from the community.

The next meeting will take place on November 18. No meeting in December.