Woman attacked at Pelham Bay Park credits good Samaritan with saving her life

The 31-year old woman who was viciously dragged into the wooded areas of Pelham Bay Park and attacked in broad daylight hopes her story serves as a cautionary tale for other women

News 12 Staff

Jul 13, 2021, 6:19 PM

Updated 1,066 days ago

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The 31-year old woman who was viciously dragged into the wooded areas of Pelham Bay Park and attacked in broad daylight is speaking out, hoping her story serves as a cautionary tale for other women.
Rebecca Young tells News 12 she was taking one of her routine walks near City Island and Shore roads on June 23 when a man attacked her from behind.
"I look behind me and I just see these huge aggressive eyes," Young says. "I feel this hand come over my mouth and my nose and another hand just grabbing my waist."
The man covered her nose and mouth and dragged her into a wooded area where he pinned her face-down, mounted her, and began to twist her neck, police say.
"He's wearing these plastic gloves, he's not saying anything," Young says. "It was definitely a predetermined event. Because he definitely woke up and knew what he was doing that day."
The NYPD released a sketch of the suspect wanted in connection to the attack.
Young says her fight-or-flight instincts kicked in, and she was able to scream out for help.
"It's just me and him, and I'm like, 'I'm going to do whatever I can to survive this,'" she says.
A nearby cyclist heard Young's screams and approached the area where she was being attacked. The man's presence caused the attacker to run off in the opposite direction, she says.
The suspect is described as Black, 5-foot-5 with a thin build and groomed appearance, and was wearing surgical gloves, a grey fitted T-shirt, cargo pants, and sneakers, according to police.
Young says the attack was a terrifying experience and warns women to be always prepared and aware of their surroundings.
She was able to get away with scrapes and bruises, but a week later, she is still scared to leave her apartment.
"It goes to show, even in well-lit places, even in a heavy foot-trafficked place, you need to be safe," she said.
She credits the cyclist who heard her screams with saving her life.
"That one person could be the difference between your life or life in a ditch somewhere."
Anyone with information related to this incident is encouraged to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.


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