Central Park sex assault: Brute chokes and rapes young jogger, cops probe possible connection to uptown attack

Police are urging possible witnesses to a violent sexual assault inside Central Park on Thursday morning to come forward with tips that will help them nab the deviant who attacked a female jogger.

Law enforcement sources said the twenty-something victim was choked out and sexually assaulted while running through the park on a foot path near Swan Lake at about 7:21 a.m. on Nov. 11. Initial reports indicated the attack had occurred close to Wollman Rink.

Based on a preliminary investigation, police determined that the creep attacked the woman from behind and choked her, causing her to lose consciousness before committing the rape. The incident was reported to the Central Park Precinct. EMS rushed the victim to a local hospital, where she was listed in stable condition.

The victim managed to flag a nearby bystander for aid, who dialed 911. After fleeing, the suspect may have attempted another assault,” Inspector Michael King, commander officer of the Special Victims Division, revealed Thursday evening.   

“Approximately 45 minutes after the assault in Central Park, another woman reported that a man attempted to sexually assault her on the footbridge at approximately 103rd Street at the FDR Drive in Manhattan,” Inspector King added.

Nearby patrolling officers heard the woman’s pleas for help, leading to an arrest.  A suspect was still at the scene and taken into custody by NYPD the officers without incident.

“As detectives continue to investigate, we are asking anyone who was in Central Park or near the footbridge at 103rd Street and believes they may have information about this morning’s assault to contact Crime Stoppers at one 800-577- TIPS,” Inspector King said, adding that a Crime Stoppers Van will be at the Central Park incident’s location Friday morning. 

Police are also stepping up their presence in Central Park to protect all visitors.

Detectives at the crime scene. Photo by Dean Moses

Although a suspect is in custody, Detectives with the NYPD Special Victims Squad stress that they have not confirmed that both attacks are related at this time. However, the 38-year-old man arrested had only been back on the streets for two days after being released from prison for a 2005 rape.  

Detectives described the man as wearing black clothing and mask but have yet to identify him. This investigation is ongoing. 

Inspector King also noted that more officers will be patrolling the Central Park area to help put the public’s mind at ease. 

On Thursday night, the NYPD also released several security camera images showing the suspect in the Central Park attack inside a nearby subway station, and outside a neighborhood store. Police urge anyone who can identify him to come forward.

Anyone with information regarding the incidents can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA). You can also submit tips online at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.