A 25-year-old man is now under arrest, accused of being the Citi Bike-riding creep who repeatedly smashed a woman’s head into a tree in Central Park in a random attack earlier this month targeting someone simply taking a morning walk near the reservoir.
Police say Juan Garcia of The Bronx is now charged with second-degree assault in the heinous crime that unfolded just before 6:00 am on Thursday, April 6th.
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During the suspect’s arraignment, prosecutors revealed the 55-year-old victim was walking along the path around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir when she was confronted by Garcia, who asked her a question she didn’t understand.
When she couldn’t answer, Garcia grabbed the woman’s shoulders with both hands and shoved her over a low net used to separate the Shuman Running Track and the Bridle Path, sending her tumbling down a hill into the brush, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office explained to the court.
Garcia then followed the woman into the woods, as she lay there injured from the fall, grabbed her head and smashed it into a tree four times, according to prosecutors, who add that two Good Samaritans heard the victims screams and saw the suspect flee the scene on a Citi Bike using the 86th Street Transverse and heading toward the Upper East Side.
The victim was rushed to a nearby hospital in stable condition, suffering scrapes and bruises to her face, as well as significant pain to her head, chin, knees and back, according to investigators.
Using surveillance video, police were able to track Garcia to the 86th Street-Lexington Avenue subway station on the Upper East Side, according to the criminal compliant. Cameras in the subway station’s southbound entrance caught a clear image of the suspect and a wanted poster was distributed to New York’s Finest, court documents show.
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It turns out that a cop in Brooklyn, who had busted Garcia in a different case last month, immediately recognized the suspect.
In a recorded interview after his arrest last Friday, two weeks after the police sketch was first released, prosecutors say Garcia made several statements incriminating himself in the crime.
Court records show that Garcia is being held on $100,000 bond and is due back in court on Thursday.
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