On October 18, 2012, the Law Offices of Marc S. Albert filed suit against several defendants on behalf of a 35-year-old single mother who was brutally raped on September 29, 2012, inside her Upper West Side Apartment as her 7-year-old daughter was sleeping beside her. The case was filed in Supreme Court, New York County against the owner of the luxury apartment building, the managing agent of the building, one of its employees, as well as the rapist, a pizza delivery boy, and his employer.
The case is truly a tragic one as the victim, by all accounts, is a wonderful and giving young woman who was a devoted and hard-working single mother. It is also a tragic case because it involves a brutal rape and attack that never should have happened and could have easily been prevented had building personnel acted in a reasonable manner.
The subject incident occurred shortly after midnight on September 29, 2012. Defendant Cesar Lucas, a pizza delivery boy, arrived at the Alfred Condominium to deliver a pizza to a resident in the building. There was only one doorman working in the building at the time as the building owner and its management, Halstead Management Company, had recently decided to remove a second employee (a porter) from the night shift to save money. The doorman let Lucas into the building and he proceeded to take the elevator upstairs.
Lucas delivered the pizza and then went about roaming the halls for approximately 25 minutes with the intent of breaking into an apartment in the building. My client was fast asleep in her bed with her 7-year-old daughter laying beside her when Lucas broke into her apartment and came into her room. What ensued next, almost unthinkably, was Lucas climbing on top of my client and brutally raping her. He ran out of the apartment immediately following the rape and left the building. At no time during the nearly half an hour period that the pizza delivery boy was in the building did the doorman or any other building personnel think to inquire as to why he had not returned to the lobby.
This case raises the issue of the importance of building management and security. When you rent or purchase an apartment in a doorman building, one expects that the management of the building and its personnel are going to make reasonably prudent decisions and use reasonable care to protect their safety. This is the complete opposite of what happened here, and tragically, my client and her daughter are left to live with the defendants’ mistakes in this case.
The case was covered extensively by the media. Links to some of the news articles are below: