Man Attempts to Sexually Assault Sunbather in Central Park: Massive Police Hunt

“We’re going to keep Central Park safe, and we’re going to continue to be out here until we feel that this perpetrator is off the street,” said the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Tarik Sheppard at a Monday press conference.

At about 1:30 p.m. on Monday, a male suspect exposed himself to a 21-year-old woman who was sunbathing in the Great Hill section of Central Park near West Drive and 104th Street.

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“What we know right now is this: we have a female – white, 21 – who was sunbathing,” said Chief of Patrol John Chell. “She sees a male black coming towards her, exposing himself. She screams and gets up to run. He tackles her from behind, and she is able to fight him off, and he runs southbound, down the west drive. He is the following: male, black, in his 30s, about six feet, medium build, wearing a light colored shirt and shorts. He also has curly hair.”

The woman was taken to an area hospital and met with Special Victims Unit officers. “We have a level two mobilization in this park as we speak,” added Chell. “Heavy resources will remain here to assist our detective bureau as they scour the park for witnesses and exterior cameras around the park and extended from the park.”

The NYPD is also using drones in this investigation, part of a new initiative at five police precincts, including the Central Park Precinct. The drones are launched from the roofs of the precincts and operated from NYPD headquarters downtown.

It’s unclear if there were any witnesses, but Chell said the sunbather appeared to be alone.

Anyone with relevant information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by sending a direct message to @NYPDTips on Twitter.


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