Today’s news:

Brutal rape in Westchester Square

It was early Monday morning, July 19, that a terrible rape occurred in an area of the Bronx that rarely sees such crimes.

At 1:52 a.m. at 1400 Benson Street, off East Tremont Avenue, a 79-year-old woman was beaten and raped in the lobby outside the elevator.

Reports from the scene indicate that she was entering the building when she held the door for the suspect, a 5-foot-7, Hispanic male in his 20s who is not a resident of the building.

Inside, the suspect grabbed the victim on her way to the elevator. It is unclear whether she made it to the elevator and he pulled her out, or if she never stepped foot inside of the elevator.

He allegedly punched her in the face and assaulted her on the floor of the lobby.

According to the 45th Precinct, the suspect was wearing “a black baseball cap, black t-shirt with a white design on the rear, dark jeans, dark shoes.”

The report also says that the suspect “left the location wearing a dark shirt with the number 00 on the back,” suggesting that he changed shirts before fleeing the scene.

The Bronx Special Victims Squad is investigating the assault and requests the public’s help in identifying the suspect, from the accompanying police sketch.

The victim was brought to Jacobi Hospital, where she is in stable condition, though beaten up.

Residents said that the woman has lived in the Zerega community for a year and a half, and that she is well-known and liked.

She is known to take walks at strange, late hours of the night, which explains why she was out at 2 a.m.

Residents also said she has a touch of dementia, and that she is very kind and also trusting, so it would fit her character that she held the door for the suspect.

Security cameras in the building caught the entire assault, and police detectives are reviewing footage for any clues.

The building has working locks and a well-kept lobby, so it is not believed management or an error in security is to blame for the attack.

Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who represents this area, feels their outrage. “Outrage is not even a strong enough word,” he said. “There’s a sense of disgust and revulsion. We are anxious for this monster to be arrested.” Vacca also said that the late hour at which the victim was out should have no bearing on the routines of residents. “I refuse to accept that we have to tell people they can only travel to their building at certain safe hours,” he said. “This is America.”

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