Planet Princeton

Princeton Woman Jumps from Second Story Window to Escape Assailant (Updated)

assault Green St Princeton
A woman jumped from a second story window at this vacant Green Street home Friday night during the snow storm. Police said this morning that they are looking for an assault suspect. Photo: Krystal Knapp.

Princeton Police are investigating an assault that occurred last night at about 9:45 p.m. in the Witherspoon and Green Street area in downtown Princeton.

A local woman heading to her night job cleaning a building was walking north on Witherspoon street near Green Street when a male suspect approached her from behind and struck her, police said.   She was assaulted and was brought to 20 Green Street where the assault continued before she was able to escape jumping from a window.

Neighbors told Planet Princeton they witnessed the woman jump from a second story window. She landed on the driveway and then fled from the scene. Police were called by a neighbor and were able to locate the woman. The Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad then treated her and took her to Capital Health. She had multiple injuries, including head injuries.

Police were at 2o Green Street for more than two hours searching the home and talking to neighborhood residents. The house has been vacant for many years.

Police described the assault suspect as a Hispanic male in his 40s with a thin build. He was wearing blue jeans, a blue shirt, and a blue jacket.

Residents in the neighborhood say they believe the recent addition of caution tape and the boarding of windows on the property, which is for sale, possibly attracted the attention of the assailant. For many years the vacant house never posed a problem, neighbors say, but the tape and boarded up windows drew attention to the fact that it was vacant.  Neighbors said today that they want the property secured.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

33 comments

  • Hello this is what i know. The victim and the assultant knew each other very well as they were having an affair she lives in princeton the house is close to La Mexicana. And everyone that knows them also know they were having this affair.

  • I have walked around the W-J area a lot, including with friends of mine who reside there and strongly favor historic preservation. It simply is untrue that there are many “vacant and derelict properties.” The Wise municipal consultants, who produced the report on which the recommendation for historic preservation was made, walked around and took pictures for months last summer. On page 65 of their report (available on the municipal website) they state:
    “The Witherspoon-Jackson community itself, which had never been stigmatized as a “slum” or “ghetto” as so often happened in major cities, has never fallen into architectural disrepair.”

    As for the “new historic preservation edict,” please note that if passed by Town Council it will allow replacement of those few structures that truly cannot be renovated. First, the HPC will work with the owner to try to find a way for cost effective renovation. If this is really not possible, the HPC will work with the owner to design and build a new structure in keeping with the scale and streetscape of the block.

  • Of course, you kindly want to help… and you are understandably very upset about this very very disturbing attack on a working woman walking alone in town. I join you in that upset, believe me. I’m addressing my concern to those who may think it is OK to share privileged information with you. They don’t realize they may make the victim’s return to life harder.

  • There is no malice intended here or attempt to reveal private information. I just wanted to help this person. Very sorry.

  • Actually LMD’s sources should check that they’re not violating the patient & her family’s right to privacy, during an already difficult time. Much as they are well intended, this line has been crossed by municipal employees in the past & shouldn’t be. I’m not saying the police shouldn’t caution residents, etc. but…

  • I did qualify my statement by saying I was told this information and am trying to learn more. Thank you, Ana.

  • That will be nice. I also think you should encourage support for those already in place who have & who will respond to help this victim. They are there, always in the background, quietly helping those in need. If you are new to NJ, you will be impressed to learn about all the beautiful souls who are working around us everyday.

  • Thank you FreshAir. I will personally follow up with the Princeton PD about applying to this fund for her.

  • Nice thought. A Crime Victims Fund exists in our state. The victim now qualifies for that & will be helped. I hope someone in Princeton’s PD takes the time to apply for her, if she is unable to reach out to that fund herself.

  • I am trying to learn more about the condition of the victim but was told early this afternoon that she suffered a serious brain injury during the assault and remains hospitalized with other injuries, as well. If this information is correct, perhaps we should gather together and establish a fundraising page for her. If she was indeed headed to her second job, she is likely caring for more than just herself… Perhaps Planet Princeton can host a fundraising page that the community can donate funds to and they can be transferred to her by the police dept. to maintain her anonymity.

  • Thank you for your thoughtful and factual response. It is nice when readers can use this forum for a calm discussion of issues on which people may disagree.

  • meaning, “technically” abandoned. Owner bought the house for $150,000 many years ago. Market value if it can be redeveloped is likely near the asking price (which is actually $825,000). Historic zoning creates the uncertainty between the two different values. Seller has no incentive to sell low and buyers will not pay up to buy. Hence it will remain vacant for many years to come. Clear?

  • That’s not exactly correct, either. The asking price is $825,000… to avoid a short sale. The sellers inherited the house from their aunt and with it they inherited a significant debt on the house. The price is set to cover the debt and any fees associated with the sale. The sellers are older gentlemen who are not local and they seek nothing more than to get out without losing or owing money. They have no illusions of making money. The pending historical designation has indeed further complicated matters because potential buyers are wary of purchasing a property that is strictly limited by the proposed ordinance. Iwould argue it is indeed abandoned, has been for many years and, unfortunately, may continue to be for some time. I personally looked into this property and have this information from a reliable source as a result.
    I am told the sellers will be taking extra measures to secure the property, regardless.

  • huh? this moderator comment is posted in response to the above civil and non-profane commentary but not in response to the comment below laced with a verbal torrent that included, “idiot, scumbag, wimp, punk-ass, f*ing coward, and needing a foot up your ass? Balanced moderation? Please explain. Thanks.

  • R. Ewe Kiddan your pathetic attemp to connect the two issues is infantile and disingenuous. You have had and will have your opportunity to voice your opinion on historical designation in a community based forum with Mayor and council. Instead you hide like a thief In the night behind rhetoric and innuendo. You finally I see were able to at least acknowledge the “horrible”act that happened…what took you so long….why wasn’t that your first thought? You obviously do not live in the neighborhood and have no idea what exactly it involves and why an HD is adopted. You obviously do not care about diversity, culture, fairness or equity You also have no real appreciation for the mechanics of current housing stock not just in the W/J neighborhood but all over town. It is you that should take a walk….go over to the West Side of town where million dollar structures that have integrity are being torn down for ultra modern monstrosities….like I referenced earlier…your a menace….insensitive and dumb as a box of rocks! Come out like the rest us and be both seen and heard.

  • Also, we are asking people to debate in a civil manner or you will be banned. Please read our comment policy if our policy is unclear to you. Thank you.

  • Sorry, you are mistaken. The house is vacant but not abandoned. Two different things. The house is on the market and the seller wants $850,000.

  • Hey Heilner–would it surprise you to discover that the derelict and abandoned property where this horrible crime occurred was detailed as a, “contributing,” property in the Witherspoon-Jackson Historic District Report that was basis upon which the neighborhood was recommended as a historic district? Perhaps you should explain to the readers what that means. This derelict, abandoned, fire-trap danger of a property cannot now be torn down and is likely to stand “as is” for many years to come. And THAT represents a significant public hazard and a magnet for crime and other mischief. Of course we all have great sympathy for the victim, so please don’t try to change the subject. For some of us, our sympathy for this victim also extends to want to limit the factors that attract future crime in order to spare future victims.

  • Person with the anonymous alias LLPapa- Either you can’t read or you are merely playing stupid. It is statically established and indisputable that vacant and abandoned property increases crime. Connect with your friend Heilner and take a walk around the neighborhood to witness the increasing number of vacant and derelict properties. These properties are in limbo and unsaleable due to the uncertain impact of the new historic preservation edict. If you don’t understand why, talk to the owners of the properties.

  • I will clarify my question. Will the media report if it is an illegal alien? I have great respect for our police department and I know they will report all the facts.

  • This is one of the dumbest posts I have ever seen on these pages. What the hell does criminal rape have to do with historic preservation? If you want to debate the latter, that’s fine. But please say something factual about the subject.

  • The Princeton Police Dept arrests those who assault others. Please take the time to understand our police procedures before making uninformed statements like this.

  • R. Ewe Kiddan….ARE YOU KIDDING!?!?!? You are an idiot, an insensitive wimp, an irresponsible citizen of the world, an ass, but most of all a ^%* ing COWARD!!! You better stay behind your punk ass alias and anonymous name. To link an abandoned home and a rape (a heinous act of violence) with historic preservation is taking stupid to another level. If there is anyone out here who knows who you are, I hope they do the responsible thing and out you for the scumbag you are! You are a menace to society and need a foot up your ass!

  • This isn’t the Princeton I’ve known since I was a graduate student and used to walk to my apartment at crazy hours of the night after leaving my studio at the School of Architecture. Our community needs to really speak up. This isn’t about an abandoned house or a greedy seller holding out for the highest price. It’s about a rapist who attacked an innocent woman walking to work- her second job- on Witherspoon Street. He would have taken her to any number of places. That abandoned house must be secured, but as a community we need to speak up for this victim and not let up until this creep is in custody.

    LMD, Princeton resident

  • Owners holding out for a huge price for a tiny lot. That’s fine- but why not knock it down and prevent it from being a magnet for this type of thing.

  • So happy that this abandoned shell of a home will be historically preserved as a place for criminal activity.

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