By Patrick Markey
As cops hunt for Cesar Vicuna, an Irish victim of another violent assault outside her Queens home is speaking out about her fear of walking the streets and her attempts to put her life back together.
Talking to the Echo, the Mayo-born woman said she is considering returning to Ireland after the attempted rape last month outside her Flushing home shattered her sense of security.
"I don’t feel safe at all. I’m here 15 years and lived in this area since I came here," the 33-year-old woman said.
"A few weeks ago I was ready to pack up and go home. Now I’ll see a few more doctors, and see how it fairs in court. As soon as it’s over I’ll go over to Ireland for a while, but I may end up staying there," she said.
Last month, the victim was walking to her Flushing home at about 11 p.m. when she beaten and assaulted by an assailant before two neighbors came to her rescue.
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In this case, police later arrested Luis Vargas, who is being held on $100,000 bail at Rikers Island correctional facility on charges of first-degree attempted rape and assault in the second degree, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office. Vargas is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 11 for a pre-trial hearing.
According to a complaint filed by Queens prosecutors, Vargas allegedly followed the victim for about four blocks before starting to beat her.
"He followed me right inside the gate. He wanted to get inside the house, but I fought him off," the victim said.
"He pushed me to the ground, hitting me in the face. He just kept hitting me. I think he just wanted me unconscious. He was trying to take my clothes off, and I was just screaming for all I was worth," she said.
The vicious assault ended when two neighbors across the street ran outside to confront the attacker, according to the criminal complaint. Doctors said the victim had suffered a fractured jaw, a broken nose and lacerations to her face, legs and arms.
Although the facial injuries still require attention and possible reconstructive surgery, the emotional damage will take longer to heal.
"Physically I’m still not back to normal. My eye is only now starting to open up," the victim said. "The emotional damage is the worst. I still feel like someone else is going to pounce on me."