Police have released surveillance video of a man who they say tried to sexually assault a woman in front of her three young children in Queens this past weekend.
Investigators say the man acted as a cab driver when he picked up the 26-year-old victim and her children, ages 1, 3 and 5, early Sunday morning in Inwood.
The woman asked to be taken to Elmhurst, where police say the driver pulled into the parking lot of the Pan American hotel and tried to attack her.
Investigators say while the woman was trying to escape, her attacker elbowed her 5-year-old in the head and forcefully removed the 3-year-old from the car.
It's not clear if the hotel, which was recently closed and turned into a homeless shelter, was the woman's destination.
The children were taken to Elmhurst Hospital and treated for minor injuries.
"I've never seen anything like that before. This is my first, I've lived here for almost three years. This is the first time I've seen something like that. I was a cab driver too, a long time ago. But I can't believe what happened when I saw the pictures, the images on the TV. It was really unbelievable," said one Elmhurst resident.
"That's really scary. I don't know. That's very despicable. And I wish, I think they haven't arrested him yet. I wish he gets arrested and justice gets served," said another Elmhurst resident.
In a statement, the city Department of Homeless Services said, "This was an unconscionable act committed against a mother and her children. Our focus right now is ensuring that this family has the right support structure in place to deal with this crisis."
The fake cabbie is said to be in his 40s with an earring in his right ear and manicured eyebrows.
He was last seen wearing a dark blue sweatsuit with white stripes.
Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.