Arrest in Forest Park attempted rape

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Photo courtesy of NYPD
Photo courtesy of NYPD

The man wanted for sexually assaulting a woman in Forest Hills Park on Friday, March 29. has been arrested.

Four days after a female jogger was attacked in Forest Park, police arrested Richard Kassebaum, 42, in connection with the assault.

Kassebaum, of Howard Beach, was charged with attempted predatory sexual assault, attempted rape and sex abuse on Tuesday, April 2.

The victim, 23, was running on the horse trail of the park bordering Union Turnpike around 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 29 when police say the suspect came out of the woods, tasered her and pulled her into the brush, where he attempted to rape her.

She was able to break free, police said, and later taken to the hospital for head and neck injuries.
Police presence was beefed up in the park to look for the suspect.

Over the years, bodies have been found in Forest Park and it’s notorious for housing homeless people.
But one man, who asked to remain anonymous, said he walks in the park almost daily and this was the first time he heard someone was hit with a stun gun.

Normally, he said, people will exercise late at night, but concern of people being mugged or attacked was relatively low.

“I think the park is pretty safe,” he said as he power-walked near the Bandshell on Monday, April 1.

Gloria Fitzgerald, who came from Brooklyn to walk her dog in the park, hadn’t heard about the attack, but said she was shocked.

“I’ve always felt safe here,” said Fitzgerald.

— Additional Reporting by Melissa Chan