A man claiming to be a cab driver tried to sexually assault a woman in Elmhurst before attacking her young children who were also in the vehicle, police said.
The 26-year-old victim was picked up with her three children, ages 1, 3 and 5, by the suspect at 207th Street in Manhattan on Sunday, officials said. Stating that he was a cab driver, he agreed to drop them off at 79-00 Queens Blvd., the site of the former Pan American Hotel, which was recently converted into a homeless shelter.
After stopping behind the building at about 2:45 a.m., the driver attempted to sexually assault the victim while her children were still in the car, according to police. When the woman tried to get out of the vehicle, the suspect elbowed the 5-year-old in the head and forcibly removed the 3-year-old from the car before fleeing.
The children were taken to Elmhurst Hospital with minor injuries.
Police describe the suspect as a Hispanic man in his 40s. He was wearing a dark blue sweatsuit with white stripes, had an earring in his right ear and manicured eyebrows, and spoke Spanish.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.