A pack of violent teens prowling Central Park on Citi Bikes targeted three women in just 20 minutes in separate, unprovoked assaults on Wednesday morning, two of the crimes occurring not far from the Upper East Side, police confirm to Upper East Site.
According to investigators, one victim, a 32-year-old woman, was confronted by three teens while running northbound on East Drive near East 72nd Street. She says it was around 8:53 am when the suspects surrounded her, shoved her to the ground, then struck her with their Citi Bikes.
“They also crashed into me after pushing me, so one of the kids fell to the ground, too. Then they all rode off headed north,” one of the victims told West Side Rag, the first to report this latest violence inside Central Park, adding that she has “never felt violated like this…especially in the park.”
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“I run in the park every weekday morning and would consider myself pretty aware, so it was shocking,” the woman explained to the publication.
Police say the 32-year-old suffered bruises to her hands, knees and arms but refused medical attention at the scene.
Minutes later, at 9:00 am, a second woman was attacked by the same three suspects while running along East Drive, this time near 71st Street, police say.
In that assault, detectives say the suspects sucker-punched a 47-year-old woman in the back of the head, striking her from behind while in the runner’s lane. Again, the three suspects rode away on Citi Bikes. Paramedics treated the victim of that assault at the scene.
About 20 minutes earlier, at 8:40 am, police say the trio started their assault spree on West Drive near West 70th Street. One of the three suspects smacked a 43-year-old woman riding her bike in the back of the head. She was not injured, police say.
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There have been three other felony assaults inside Central Park this year, including two near the 86th Street Transverse and one near the 65th Street Transverse.
Earlier this month, a stranger on a Citi Bike confronted a 55-year-old woman taking a morning walk around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, shoved her over a fence, knocked her down a hill, found her again, then repeatedly smashed her face into a tree.
Juan Garcia, 25, of The Bronx, was arrested last Friday and charged with the heinous attack. Prosecutors say Garcia made several statements incriminating himself in that crime.
As for Wednesday’s attack, a description of the suspects was not immediately available.
If you witnessed these crimes or have any information that could help investigators, please call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-8477.
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