PLEASE READ THIS STORY. IF YOU SEE HIM, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY. clean-cut white man, 45 to 55 years-old, weighing about 220 pounds, with salt-and-pepper hair and a goatee.
BY Jennifer H. Cunningham AND Corky Siemaszko
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Wednesday, September 28th 2011, 3:50 PM
DelMundo, Anthony freelance NYDN
Bryan Teichman, 31, saved a woman from getting raped in a secluded area off a Queens roadway. Take our PollCrime in the Big Apple
Racing to rescue a helpless woman from the clutches of a would-be rapist, Bryan Teichman had just seconds Wednesday to decide whether he should start yelling - or revert to his Marine training and attack the man.
"My gut said to scream first, to avoid the conflict," said the 31-year-old Queens resident. "So I screamed, you know, some profanities, but basically: 'Get off her!'"
That was enough, police said, to send the suspect running - and for Teichman to be hailed as the city's newest hero.
"If I would have caught him, I would've felt like that," the self-deprecating dad from Fresh Meadows said.
Police are now looking for the burly man, who Teichman said was dressed like a construction worker.
In an interview with The Daily News, Teichman gave a stirring account of how he suddenly found himself coming to the aid of a stranger who had been accosted in broad daylight.
"It blows my mind that someone has the audacity to do that at 9 o'clock in the morning," he said.
Police officers search the bushes along Cross Island Expressway near 148th St., the scene of the attempted rape. (Anthony DelMundo for News)
Teichman's brush with fate came as he was dropping off his daughter at the babysitter's house in Whitestone, which sits across the street from a small wooded area that abuts the Whitestone Expressway at the Cross Island Parkway service road and 148th St.
Most days, Teichman said, he leaves his daughter with Dawn Ottaviano at noon. On Wednesday, he dropped her off early so he could study for a physics exam at Nassau Community College, where he is an engineering major.
"I was in the house, and I heard some muffled screams," he said.
Outside the window, they saw a surreal scene unfold.
"At first, it looked like they were running," Ottaviano told The News. "When I looked closer, it looked like he was hoisting her, grabbing her, pushing her."
"When I saw him throw her over the guardrail, that's when I knew it wasn't play," added Teichman.
"I looked back at Dawn and I said 'Something's not right. I'm going over there.'"
Ottaviano told him, "Be careful, be careful," he said.
Heeding her warning, Teichman said he jogged across the street. "I didn't run over there," he said.
When he got to guardrail, Teichman said the man was "straddling her." He had one hand over her mouth and was "ripping at her jean jacket" with the other.
Teichman said the man must have been powerful because the woman's screams were completely muffled.
"He was strong enough to hold her mouth shut," he said. "It was silent. I had to pause there and think, 'Do I run after him first or do I scream first at him?'"
Teichman decided to fill the void with lots of noise.
"If Dawn didn't say, 'Be careful, be careful,' my instinct would have been to attack, because I have a wife, and a daughter, a two year old daughter," he said.
Startled, the attacker looked up and Teichman said he got a clear look at his face.
"Then he started running down the hill," he said. "I ran over to her."
By that point, the attacker had already reached the highway and was running northbound along the shoulder, he said.
Within minutes, police, alerted by the babysitter, began arriving and hunting for the suspect.
Teichman said he tried to comfort the weeping woman, who spoke very little English.
"She was saying, 'Thank you,'" he recalled. "That seemed like all she could say.'"
"She was frazzled," Ottaviano added. "Her whole back was full of dirt."
Another witness, Lisa Chianese, said the woman was there waiting for her carpool ride into the city.
"God bless him," she said of Teichman. "He saved her."
Teichman described the attacker as a clean-cut white man, 45 to 55 years-old, weighing about 220 pounds, with salt-and-pepper hair and a goatee.