[UPDATE] Cops hunt Long Island City rape suspects


| smosco@queenscourier.com |

NYPD
NYPD

Police are looking for three suspects in connection with the ambush and rape of a woman in Long Island City.

According to police, the 20-year-old victim — who is from the neighborhood — was walking along Vernon Boulevard and 10th Street in L.I.C. at approximately 3:45 a.m. on Sunday, December 4 when she was grabbed by two of the suspects and dragged to a nearby parking lot. There, she was held down between parked cars and raped by a third man.

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The suspects fled the scene, while the woman was taken to an area hospital where she was treated and released.

The victim caught a glimpse of the man who raped her and described him as a white male, between 25-30 years of age, 5-feet-10-inches tall with dirty blonde hair and light-colored eyes.

Police are urging anyone with information on the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit tips by logging onto www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting tips to 274637 (CRIMES), then entering TIP577.

As the manhunt goes on, officials are asking residents in the area to be watchful and to contact police if they recognize the suspect’s sketch. Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer said that while it is an isolated occurrence, this tragic act of violence will not go unpunished.

“People are rightfully shocked that such an act can take place in this neighborhood,” said Van Bramer, whose district borders where the incident took place. “Every woman should be safe everywhere at anytime, regardless of what time of night it is. These people will be caught and rightfully prosecuted.”

Jesse Winter, an artist in the neighborhood, said that like others in the area, hearing about the horrible incident made him angry and sad.

“We need to remember that it can happen anywhere, even in neighborhoods we consider safe,” he said. “I hope the L.I.C. community can be vigilant and supportive of one another and never forget how fragile our sense of security is. I hope some kind of justice can be achieved, although it will never be enough. My thoughts are with the brave person who has to now live this.”