The 13-year-old girl walked into the elevator on a Sunday summer morning, pressing the button for her floor. As soon as the elevator door in the South Jamaica Houses in Queens slid shut, a man who had followed the girl draped his left arm around her, pulling her close.
When the elevator reached her floor, the girl screamed, but it was too late: the sexual assault had been committed, and the attacker escaped.
New York City’s 3,330 elevators in Housing Authority projects have become all-too-frequent crime scenes, confined enclosures that often leave tenants at the mercy of violent criminals.
Everyone knows about the dark alley, the foreboding path where trouble can lurk behind every shadow. But in New York, housing project elevators tend to be far more dangerous places, neither dark nor unfamiliar to those who live there.
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