Police are continuing the hunt for 20-year-old Ibrahima Ragis, who is suspected of committing a spree of sexual assaults near the border of Forest Hills and Corona.
Police say he has raped or tried to rape four young women, and residents who live around the area he’s frequented say life goes on—but they’re still nervous.
It’s been more than a month since his first attack onMay 19 and weeks since his latest reported attack on June 22, but Ragis is still on the loose.
“It’s nerve wracking. It’s very scary,” said L. Smith, who lives in Corona just blocks away from where police say Ragis and an accomplice jumped a young woman late at night at 97-11 Horace Harding Expressway in Corona.
That victim was able to fight off both of her attackers and escape, but not all the women attacked were so lucky.
Ragis is also suspected of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman on May 19 at 3:29 a.m., sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl at 3 a.m. on May 28 and robbing a 22-year-old woman at 2:37 a.m. on June 3.
Those attacks were all in Forest Hills, across the expressway from the June 22 incident, and residents in the area are worried—if they’re aware.
Most people on the street said they had never heard of the incident and didn’t recognize Ragis’ face despite police and politicians’ efforts to publicize the attacks.
Elected leaders had handed out fliers when the assaults were first announced, but the efforts to inform have since dwindled.
A few residents had seen Ragis’ face on posters around the neighborhood, however, and had concerns about safety.
“I worry about my wife,” said William Henri, who lives down the block from where Ragis allegedly struck in Corona. He said he would think twice about walking home late at night if he were a woman.
Police did almost capture Ragis during a foot chase in June, but that was before the attack in Corona.
Cops identified Ragis and a home address from a phone he dropped but have been unable to capture him.
“I don’t like hearing about creeps like that,” Henri said.
Anyone with information regarding this crime is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).
The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and entering TIP577.
All calls are strictly confidential.
By Jeremiah Dobruck