The New York Police Department is increasing patrols in Central Park after they say a 27-year-old woman was ambushed while jogging near Swan Lake, choked unconscious and raped early Thursday morning.
Police have released footage of a mask-wearing suspect dressed all in black as he entered a nearby subway station soon afterwards.
The attack happened at 7.20am near the Wollman Ice Rink, at a time when Central Park is normally busy with morning runners and pedestrians setting about their day.
John Miller, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of Intelligence & Counterterrorism, told NBC News the woman regained consciousness and flagged down a passerby after the attack, who alerted park police.
She was taken to hospital in a stable condition.
It was one of three separate sexual assaults on women in the city within 45 minutes.
At 7.45am a registered sex offender allegedly tried to rape a woman on Randall’s Island.
Police arrested Howard Shaw, 38, a few hours later and charged him with attempted rape.
Shaw had been released from prison two days earlier where he was serving a sentence for a 2005 robbery and rape.
At 8.05am, a woman was assaulted while walking on a footpath near 103rd St and FDR Drive on the Upper East Side.
Police arrested a suspect in that case on Thursday afternoon, but are yet to name the man. They say they don’t believe the suspect is connected to the Central Park attack, but are keeping an open mind.
On Wednesday, a 13-year-old girl was thrown to the ground and raped in the Bronx while walking home from school. Police are still looking for the suspect in this case.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in