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MANHATTAN – Friday afternoon, police released new surveillance images and video of the man wanted for questioning in connection with the rape of a jogger Thursday morning in Central Park. The new video shows the unidentified man, in dressed in all black, unmasked– the man’s face in full view as a he stands inside a what appears to be a convenience store.
The woman targeted in Central Park was out jogging Thursday morning when a man came up from behind and ambushed her– choking her unconscious, police say, before raping the woman.
Investigators say the heinous crime unfolded at around 7:20 am— likely in broad daylight, as the sunrise was more than a half hour earlier— on a path near Swan Lake, close to Wollman Rink and Center Drive.
The survivor, a 27-year-old woman, told police she was out for a run when a man snuck up from behind and put her in a chokehold.
The suspect used his arm to squeeze her airway until she blacked out– he then raped the woman inside the park and fled the scene.
After the sexual assault, police say the survivor called out for help and a good Samaritan came to her aid– the woman was then taken to the hospital and is in stable condition.
Police describe the suspect in the Central Park rape as a man in his 30’s dressed in all black and wearing a mask. Thursday evening, investigators released an initial set of surveillance images of a man dressed in all black wanted for questioning in connection with the case.
Investigators say less than an hour after the Central Park attack, another woman was targeted by a man who tried to sexually assault her on the foot bridge at East 103rd street and the FDR Drive along the East River in East Harlem.
Police say the suspect in that attack was arrested– taken into custody near the scene of the attempted sexual assault after the survivor called police. Investigators say he is a convicted rapist who was released from prison two days ago, on November 9th.
Now, detectives are investigating whether the despicable crimes are connected.
Crime in Central Park is slightly down this year with 51 incidents reported in 2021 versus 53 last year.
However a closer look at NYPD data shows that there have been five rapes reported within Central Park’s police precinct this year, a 150% increase from three rapes that had been reported at this time last year.
Detectives were spotted in the park Thursday, putting up signs for the Crime Stoppers program— hoping to drum up tips in the case. A Crime Stoppers van was parked in the same area Friday morning.
If you have any information that could help police track down he suspect in this vile crime, contact NYPD Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-8477 (TIPS). You can remain anonymous.