On Sunday, November 18, at about 4 a.m., the suspect approached the victim near Parkside Avenue and Parade Place and placed her in a chokehold.
He told her he had a knife and a gun, and threatened to harm her if she did not comply, according to police. The suspect shoved her against a parked van and tried to sexually assault her.
The suspect then dragged her behind a bench and raped her. Afterward, he broke the window of the parked van, forced her inside and tried to sexually assault her again.
When he was unable to do so, he took $10 from her purse and demanded that she leave, according to police. He fled by foot on Parkside Avenue.
Police describe the suspect as between 25 and 35 years old. He was last seen wearing a shiny, dark-hooded coat, a dark colored-knit cap, dark pants and white sneakers.
Last Wednesday, Borough President Eric Adams and Councilman Mathieu Eugene denounced the horrifying rape.
“This case is really chilling to all the neighbors in this area,” Adams said.
The borough president’s office offered an additional $1,000 for any information that will lead to the arrest and apprehension of the suspect. The NYPD is already offering up to $2,500 for information on the rape.
“As long as he’s still walking the streets, it is an unsafe environment for our family members,” he said. “If you recognize the clothing, if you see someone on the train or walking the street, please report it to the Police Department so we can bring this person to justice.”
Both elected officials also called on city agencies to work together to make the area safer. Adams noted that the stretch between Prospect Park and the Parade Ground has many trees, but not nearly enough lighting.
He called on the NYPD, Department of Transportation and Parks Department to do a complete analysis on the lighting scheme.
“The trees are covering the little lighting that we have,” he said. “This area here is an ambush ready to happen.”
Eugene said the Parks Department likely won’t want to cut any trees, but wants other measures to be used to put more lighting on the street.
“The lighting is not enough,” he said.
A DOT spokesperson said the agency will perform a lighting survey in the area this week.
Finally, the borough president called on the building owners on the block to point their cameras not only at the side of their buildings, but also at the street.
“It will enhance the security and increase the opportunity to apprehend someone who commits a crime of this magnitude,” he said.