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Austin St. club sex assault stopped by boyfriend: Cops

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By Tien-Shun Lee

A Kew Gardens man hit a woman in the head with a bottle and was in the midst of sexually assaulting her in a Forest Hills night club bathroom stall at around 2:20 a.m. Saturday when the woman’s boyfriend stopped the assault, police said.

Augustine Sanchez, 25, of 131-11 Kew Gardens Rd. was arrested and charged with attempted rape, assault and criminal possession of a weapon, police said. The victim’s name was not released.

Police said Sanchez was in one of the two stalls in the women’s restroom of the Melange Grill and Cafe at 70-28 Austin St. when the victim entered the bathroom and went in to the stall next to him. He threw a beer bottle at her, which struck her in the head, and then climbed over the wall separating the two stalls and attempted to rape her, said police.

    According to the criminal complaint issued by the Queens district attorney’s office, Sanchez grabbed the woman’s head and attempted to shove it into the toilet. He then pulled off her clothes and shoes, leaving her dressed in only a bra. As the woman screamed and struggled to get away, Sanchez repeatedly banged her head against the walls of the stall, sexually assaulted her and verbally threatened to kill her with a knife, said the complaint.

The victim’s boyfriend went into the bathroom after hearing the commotion, said police. He tackled Sanchez and held him until police arrived, according to police. The victim was then taken to a local hospital.

“It’s never happened before something like this,” said Marcos Gutierrez, the general manager of the restaurant, which turns into a nightclub on Fridays and Saturdays after midnight.

Gutierrez said there were six bouncers and two doormen working in the nightclub Friday nigh and the bathroom was well lit.

“It’s a small place. You can see everything right away,” he said.

Gutierrez said he did not know who called 911 on the night of the assault.

The nightclub generally draws a crowd of apeople in their mid-20s to mid-30s, said Gutierrez. Most people have dinner at the restaurant, which serves Italian and continental food, and then stay to dance to the club’s house and reggae music. The club is open until 4 a.m.

According to the NYPD, there were five rapes last year in the 112th Precinct, where the night club is located. This year there was one rape reported between Jan. 1 and June 29.

Reach reporter Tien-Shun Lee by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com, or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

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