Cops release sketch of alleged Tanger Outlets attacker

10/31/2013 11:44 AM |

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Riverhead Town police have released a composite sketch of the man they say attacked a woman in a Tanger Outlets bathroom earlier this week.

Sgt. Joseph Loggia said a witness to the crime has come forward to police since the Tuesday attack, though the suspect remains at large.

“We’re hoping this generates something,” he said.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Riverhead police officers investigate where a woman was allegedly attacked at Tanger Outlet Center Tuesday afternoon.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Riverhead police officers investigate where a woman was allegedly attacked at Tanger Outlet Center Tuesday afternoon.

The 67-year-old victim was inside a public restroom at Tanger 1 near the West Elm outlet store about noon Tuesday when she was attacked by someone who was hiding inside another stall, Riverhead Town police said.

Police said that as the woman tried to exit her stall, the suspect pushed her back in, putting one of his arms around her neck while trying to force her to the floor. The attacker ran off after a witness entered the bathroom, police said.

The woman suffered minor injuries in the attack, police said.

Police described the suspect as a “young looking” black male, clean shaven and slim, wearing a dark hoodie sweatshirt and standing about 5-foot-6-inches to 5-foot-8-inches in height.

The sketch has been sent to local police departments, including Suffolk County police, who are investigating to see if any other similar incidents have occurred in the county recently, he said.

At this point, Sgt. Loggia said, the incident appears to be isolated. Police have not yet determined if the suspect is a local resident or from out of town.

“It’s Tanger Mall. You could be from anywhere,” Sgt. Loggia said.

In the wake of the assault, Tanger Outlets have increased security at the mall, hiring more third-party guards to patrol the area, according to the shops’ management.

“We want to have a strong security presence at our shopping [center],” said general manager Janine Nebons. ”We want people to see them and know that they’re here.”

Sgt. Loggia said Riverhead police sector cars will also make frequent patrols in the area.

Cops have asked anyone who may have information about the attack to call police at 631-727-4500.

psquire@timesreview.com

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