BUSTED: Suspect in Central Park Rape Captured Early Saturday Morning

Surveillance image of a man wanted for questioning in Central Park rape/NYPD Crime Stoppers
Surveillance image of a man wanted for questioning in Central Park rape/NYPD Crime Stoppers

MANHATTAN – While you were sleeping, the men and women of the New York City Police Department captured the suspect wanted in the vile attack and sexual assault of a woman jogging in Central Park Thursday morning. 

Just before 4:15 am Saturday morning, detectives announced they had taken into custody a 25-year-old homeless man and slapped him with rape, robbery and strangulation charges along with several others counts. 

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Investigators tell Upper East Site that the suspect, Paulie Velez was busted just before 1:00am Saturday in Queens— after receiving a confidential tip on their Crime Stoppers hotline. 

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Detectives captured the suspect less than 48 hours after they say he ambushed a 27-year-old woman on a path near Wollman Rink and Swan Lake in Central Park– and just over twelve hours after the NYPD new crystal clear surveillance video showing the face of the suspect— as he attempted to sell a cell phone in a smoke shop after the heinous attack.

NYPD officers stand watch at the scene where a jogger was raped in Central Park/Upper East Site
NYPD officers stand watch at the scene where a jogger was raped in Central Park/Upper East Site

Investigators say Velez is the man in all black described by the survivor, who choked her until she passed out, then raped her in park.

Surveillance image of a man wanted for questioning in Central Park rape/NYPD Crime Stoppers
Suspect arrested in rape of Central Park jogger/NYPD Crime Stoppers

After the sexual assault, police say the survivor called out for help and a good Samaritan came to her aid– and the woman was then taken to the hospital in stable condition. 

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Initially, investigators suspected the Central Park sex assault may be linked to an East Harlem attack 45 minutes later— but that appears to be a disturbing coincidence— as a suspect was arrested in that case as well. 

Detective puts up Crime Stoppers posters in Central Park after the attack/Upper East Site
Detective puts up Crime Stoppers posters in Central Park after the attack/Upper East Site

Stay with Upper East Site for updates on this developing story.

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