In the Woodside area of Queens, two young Irish woman, living within a block of each, have been accosted within three weeks. Both women described their attacker in similar terms: Hispanic, long black, wavy hair, about 5-foot-8 or 5-9, and about 27 or 28 years old.
In both cases, the attacks occurred in the early-morning hours as the women were about to open the doors to their apartments. Fortunately, both were able to fend off their assailant.
Although the two women live within a block of each other, it was entirely coincidental that they met — on Tuesday of last week in a laundromat on Woodside Avenue. Before this, they did not know each other. The Galway woman, wiser from her experience St. Patrick’s morning, advised her new-found acquaintance from Northern Ireland to be cautious in the area. Then, the woman from the North admitted she too had been attacked. And so, they discovered they had almost identical stories.
Of course, the wisdom of a young woman returning alone from a bar in the early hours is, at best, open to question. Friends of the Galway woman were following, but when her attacker struck, they were not close enough to help.
Still, what the women did next is particularly laudable. Neither wishes to generate panic, but they do want a warning to go out to others, particularly with the summer coming, a time when many students and visitors from Ireland will be in the Woodside area, home to one of the most vibrant Irish communities in the U.S.
And so, with this in mind, the two women agreed to share their story with the Echo.
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"Over the next few months, this place will be full of students," the Galway woman said. "We would like to make people aware that there is someone out there looking for vulnerable girls."