Littlest Hero

August 13, 2003 — A gutsy 8-year-old girl heroically beat back a sicko
predator who grabbed her inside her Bronx apartment building last week -
and cops now believe she may have foiled the fiendish “rooftop rapist”
from striking again.

The teen also photographed the vehicle’s license plate and gave the
evidence to police, who arrested a suspect the next day.

The little girl’s terrifying drama began around 12:20 p.m. last Thursday
when she was returning home from buying milk at the local deli and was
suddenly attacked outside her family’s fourth-floor apartment in a
building near the intersection of Valentine Avenue and 197th Street,
police said.

The suspect – who cops said had been following the girl from the street -
grabbed her from behind just feet from her apartment door, cupped his
hand over her mouth and began trying to drag her up one flight of stairs
to the roof.

The pervert managed to get her up two steps before the quick-thinking kid
struggled enough to loosen his grip over her mouth, at least for a few
moments.

That’s when “I started to scream,” the child recalled calmly yesterday.

“Then I bit his hand.”

“The little girl’s mom was less composed talking about her child’s brush
with horror, openly weeping as she recounted in Spanish how, after
hearing her child’s chilling screams outside the apartment, “I opened the
door, and I said, ‘What are you doing with my daughter? I’m going to call
the cops!’ “

That sent the perpetrator fleeing.

“He ran down the steps out the door, where the still-shaking mom said she
watched from her window as he fled north on Valentine Avenue.

The little girl’s teen sister told The Post that during the attack, the
suspect told his victim “he wanted to take her to the roof. She was
screaming, ‘Mommy! Mommy!’ ” said the sister, 19.

Cops now believe the attack could be the work of the brutal pervert who
followed a 9-year-old Harlem girl home July 27, also grabbed her from
behind and then dragged her to the roof of her apartment building, where
he raped and sodomized her.

In a chilling twist, police investigating that attack stumbled upon
evidence pointing to a case involving the rape of an 11-year-old girl in
1993.

Detectives discovered a used condom on a lower floor of the Harlem
apartment building the same day of the July 27 rape – and DNA tests
linked it to the child rape that oc- curred years earlier, on West 149th
Street.

Police are investigating whether all three attacks – as well as others of
young children – are the work of the same fiend.

He has been described as a black man in his 20s or 30s, 5-foot-10 and
weighing between 160 and 190 pounds.

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