The New York Police Department have released images of a person of interest they're looking for after a 27-year-old jogger was raped in Central Park on Thursday morning, minutes before another woman was sexually assaulted a few miles away.
In the first assault, the 27-year-old victim said she was grabbed from behind and placed in a chokehold by a man wearing black clothing in the 840-are park near Swan Lake and the Woolman skating rink just after 7:20 a.m. before raping her.
The woman lost consciousness and woke up with cuts, abrasions and bruises to her arms and chin. The suspect fled the scene. The victim reached out to a passerby "who assisted her," and was taken to a hospital, where she is currently in a stable condition.NYPD Inspector Michael King said at a Thursday briefing, adding there would be increased patrols in the Manhattan park after the attack.
NYPD has released images of the suspect and is now seeking the public's help in identifying the man they believe is behind the attack. He is seen wearing black pants and shirts, along with a black baseball cap and mask to match.
Man Who Attacked 54-Year-Old Jogger was a Sex Offender Recently Released from Prison
About 45 minutes after the first woman was raped, a 54-year-old jogger was sexually assaulted on a running path in Randall's Island. The 54-year-old victim was knocked her to the ground and choked before the suspect attempted to remove her pants.
Investigators initially believed both attacks could be linked but later determined they were not after the suspect who sexually assaulted the older woman was apprehended.
Howard Shaw, 38, a Level 3 sex offender, was arrested by police two days after he was released on parole. He served nine years in state prison on assault and sex abuse charges. Shaw was charged Thursday with attempted rape, strangulation and forcible touching.
The attacks take place a day after a 13-year-old girl was sexually assaulted in a Bronx park on her way back home from school. As reported by New York Daily News, police said the suspect Police said the suspect threw the victim to the ground and ripped off her leggings. After the assault he stole her cell phone and fled the scene.