A woman in her 20s was forcibly raped in a wooded area of Coram Thursday afternoon in a “disturbing” and “unusual” daylight assault, according to the acting county police commissioner. Suffolk, Stuart Cameron, who said police were looking for the suspect.
Detectives in the Sixth District said the woman was walking on a path that serves as a passageway near Route 112 and Skips Road at 1:45 p.m. when she noticed a man following her.
“At one point he jumped in front of her and grabbed her,” Cameron said at a press conference in Great River on Friday. “This resulted in an extremely violent assault on her. At one point, she was knocked out and raped.”
The woman, whose identity has not been released, was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital, where she was treated for her injuries, police said. She has since been released and is expected to make a full recovery, authorities said.
Cameron described the case as an “extremely high priority” for the department and said “huge staff” were looking for witnesses and relevant videos that could help identify the suspect.
“This is a very active investigation,” Cameron said.
Residents of Coram and neighboring communities said the attack would give them doubts about traveling alone at night.
“It obviously worries me,” said Jennifer Hernandez, 18, of Medford. “… It’s terrifying to hear this story.
Her friend, Jessica Fuentes, 19, from Medford, called the attack “horrific. It’s scary because I live here.”
Bob Johnson of Coram said the incident was troubling.
“It’s just crazy,” he says. “Something must be done.”
But Christian Vargas of Middle Island said the attack was not surprising, noting that the area where the rape took place needs more police.
“I have a daughter, and at the end of the day, I want to make sure my daughter is safe,” Vargas said. “I feel completely saddened by [the rape]. They just need to clean it up. It is something that needs to be enforced and regulated. “
The suspect is described as unshaven with an average build. He was not wearing a mask, Cameron said, and the victim did not know the suspect. The department is not investigating prior rapes similar to Thursday’s attack.
“Forced rape in public in broad daylight is very unusual for Suffolk County,” Cameron said, advising residents to exercise caution in the area of the attack. “This is a very unusual event. It is a very worrying event for us and our department. We want to resolve this case as quickly as possible.”
Police are asking anyone with information to call Sixth Squad at 631-854-8652 or Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS.
With John Asbury and Cecilia Dowd