Tag Archives: Forest Park rape

Cops pull back some Forest Park patrols


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

The NYPD is pulling back some of its police presence in Forest Park months after beefing up patrols following an August rape cops connected to five other sexual assaults in the park between March 2011 and this summer.

Police decided to remove eight cop cars that were patrolling the area after there were no additional sex crimes reported in the six weeks following the rape, the 102nd Precinct’s commanding officer, Henry Sautner, said at the most recent Community Board 9 (CB9) meeting. He said the resources for the coverage could not be maintained on an ongoing basis.

Sautner said there will still be two officers assigned to patrol the park. They are also utilizing auxiliary officers through their 56-member auxiliary program, with two to three operations per week in Forest Park.

“They’re the police officers and I believe they know best what they are doing,” said Mary Ann Carey, CB9 District Manager.

But Carey said she would like to see more Park Enforcement Patrol (PEP) officers, for which the community has been lobbying.

A Parks Department spokesperson said this fall new PEP substations in Forest Park and in Rockaway will be opening “allowing [them] to more easily patrol the parks of western and southern Queens, respectively.” The substations, said the spokesperson, were made possible due to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget, which also doubled the amount of city-funded PEP officers that are available for patrols.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Op-Ed: Simple measures for park safety


| oped@queenscourier.com

Late last week, the NYPD revealed that the suspect being sought in the late August attack of a 69-year old jogger in Forest Park is allegedly responsible for five previous attacks in and around the 538-acre park. Police presence has been increased with a temporary command center being set up at the intersection of Myrtle Avenue and Park Lane South in Richmond Hill.

But this is a temporary measure, one that we’ve seen before. And in a few weeks it will be decided that the resources are needed elsewhere and it’ll be back to business as usual. Back in the 1970s, Assemblymember Frederick D. Schmidt called on the city to make Forest Park a separate police precinct – it’s an idea worth reconsidering.

The 102nd Precinct is currently responsible for Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill East, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, and the northern part of Ozone Park. The precinct includes a number of busy commercial districts (including Queens Boulevard, 101st Avenue and Jamaica Avenue) and several major roadways. That’s a large area, made even larger by the need to also patrol Forest Park.

A small precinct, or substation, with officers trained on and equipped with all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) for regular patrolling of the many trails within the park, would make it safer for all who use it. Even a shopping mall has its own security base – why not one of our city’s largest public attractions?

In other words, if it’s such a necessary step after a woman is attacked, why not make it permanent in an effort to prevent future attacks?

Apart from an increase in police, the city needs to do a better job of keeping the streetlights in and around Forest Park in proper working condition. We have been reporting major outages in well-trafficked areas and there does not appear to be any sense of urgency to get them repaired.

During the early morning hours on Forest Park Drive, we have seen people walking or jogging carrying flashlights, meaning the lights have been out long enough for people to learn that they need to come prepared.

Ultimately, there is no one to blame for these attacks apart from the sick animal that commits them. He will be caught, though whatever punishment he receives will never be enough. But that does not mean we can’t take precautions so as not to give this animal any tactical advantages.

Whenever possible, try not to run or walk alone. Reach out to friends and neighbors; try to make it a social activity that can be enjoyed as a group. Avoid isolated trails; remember that you do not have to go deep into the park to be alone and that just because you can see a main road from the woods does not mean that people traveling on that road can see you.

Forest Park is a wonderful place that hosts many thousand residents and visitors each year. Let’s all do everything we can to make it the safest experience possible.

Edward K. Wendell
President
Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association


Video via YouTube/Edward Wendell

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Forest Park rape suspect tied to five additional sexual assaults


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

suspect

Police have connected the suspect wanted in a Forest Park rape last month to five more sexual assaults in the same area.

The NYPD, which released a new sketch of the suspect Thursday, said the man allegedly attacked six different females, ranging from ages 13 to 69, between March 2011 and this August.

The latest assault occurred around 4:30 p.m. on August 26, according to police, when the victim, a 69-year-old woman, while jogging through the park, was approached by the suspect, who tasered and pushed her to the ground before raping her.

He is also accused of attempting to rape a 54-year-old jogger on March 25, 2011 in the park, and a 13-year-old on September 7 of the same year near Park Lane and Myrtle Avenue. Both incidents occurred in the morning.

The suspect allegedly then groped a 34-year-old woman at the corner of Woodhaven Boulevard and Park Lane South around 1 p.m. on August 15, 2012.

Later that year, on November 28, he also assaulted another woman. The 40-year-old victim, who was jogging with her dog, was approached by the suspect who touched her with his exposed genitalia.

On March 23 of this year, the suspect allegedly struck a 23-year-old woman with a stun gun and then tried to rape her in Forest Park.

A person was arrested for that sexual assault, but police later said they had the wrong man.

The suspect is described as white, 30 to 40 years old, 5 feet 9 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, with light brown hair and clean shaven. He was wearing a black t-shirt and black sweat pants during the August 26 incident.

A $22,000 reward has been offered for information in the case.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast with thunderstorms, then thunderstorms and rain showers in the afternoon. High of 82. Winds from the NW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 66. Winds from the NW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Open-Mic Storytelling Show at The Creek & the Cave

Every Tuesday at The Creek & the Cave, Jake Hart (The Moth, Nights of Our Lives, Local Stories) hosts an open-mic storytelling show from 7-9 p.m. No themes, no judges, and you get 8 minutes to tell whatever true story you want. Plus, special guest storytellers. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Time Warner, CBS reach deal to end blackout

CBS Corp said it has reached an agreement with Time Warner Cable Inc to end a month-long blackout of its stations in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas. Read more: Reuters 

Report: 2013 saw jump in number of people sneaking into city pools after-hours

As New York City prepares to close its outdoor public pools for the season, one statistic is making a bit of a splash: A jump in people caught swimming after-hours. Read more: AP

NYPD ramps up security in Forest Park after second stun-gun attack

The NYPD has increased patrols in and around Forest Park in the wake of another rape involving a stun-gun-toting perp — the second such attack this year. Read more: New York Daily News 

Rivals for Queens council seat slam Paul Vallone for ads that linked candidates to arrested pols

Four Democrats hoping to replace embattled City Councilman Dan Halloran went after their best-funded rival, lambasting him for failing to condemn a series of negative mailings that linked them to the scandal-tarred politician they hope to replace. Read more: New York Daily News 

Sandy’s “freaky” path may be less likely in future

Man-made global warming may further lessen the likelihood of the freak atmospheric steering currents that last year shoved Sandy due west into New Jersey, a new study says. Read more: NBC New York

US argues for strike as Syria refugees top 2 million

The number of refugees fleeing Syria’s violence has surpassed the 2 million mark, the U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday, as top U.S. officials prepared to argue before a key Senate committee for a punitive strike against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Read more: AP

 

Cops seek suspect in Forest Park rape


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Last updated Tuesday, September 3

Police are looking for the man they say tasered and pushed a woman to the ground before raping her in Forest Park.

The attack happened around 4:30 p.m. on Monday, August 26 when the victim, a 69-year-old woman, while jogging through the park, was approached by the suspect.

The victim was taken to Queens Hospital Center, where she was treated and released.

Police describe the perpetrator as white, 30 to 40 years 0ld, 5 feet 9 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, with light brown hair and clean shaven. He was wearing a black t-shirt and black sweat pants.

A $22,ooo reward has been offered for information in the case. The city of New York is offering $10,000, the NYPD is paying a $10,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest and conviction of the suspect, and Crime Stoppers is offering an additional $2,000 for an arrest and indictment.

The NYPD has increased patrols in and around the park as cops look for the alleged rapist.

In March, a 23-year-old woman was struck with a stun gun and then sexually assaulted in the park.

A person was arrested, but police later said they had the wrong man.

At the time, park security was increased following the incident and police presence was felt in the days after the attack.

Police are still investigating and could not confirm a connection between the two sexual assaults.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES