A 67-year-old woman said that she was attacked by a man in a bathroom at the Tanger Outlet Mall in Riverhead on Tuesday, police said.
According to Riverhead Town Police, a call came in at noon about the alleged attack. The woman told police that she had been using the public bathroom, where a man was hiding in another stall.
As she exited the stall, the woman said the man pushed her back inside and got behind her, placing one of his arms around her neck and trying to force her to the floor, police said.
The victim was screaming for help when another woman entered the bathroom, police said; she left the bathroom and rushed to a nearby store to notify personnel that an attack was underway in the ladies' room.
Police said the suspect fled the scene on foot toward River Road; police searched the area with the assistance of K-9 units.
The public has been asked to assist in the search. The suspect has been described as a "young-looking" black man, clean-shaven, between 5'6" and 5'8" tall, with a slim build and last seen wearing a dark-colored hoodie.
In addition, police are asking the woman who entered the bathroom during the attack to come forward so that they can speak with her; she is asked to call the Riverhead Police department at 631-727-4500. Anyone with information is asked to call the same number.
According to Janine Nebons, general manager at Tanger, "The incident is under police investigation."