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Four of Five Teen Suspects Arrested in Horrific Playground Gang Rape as Police Defend Their Handling of the Case


"The N.Y.P.D. should have reported this immediately."

Police car of the NYPD closeup (Getty Images)

Four out of five teenage suspects were taken into custody by late Sunday evening for the rape of an 18-year-old woman on a Brooklyn playground, as local residents continue to question the police force's handling of the case.

At approximately 9:10 p.m. Thursday, the woman and her father were walking in the Osborn Playground in Brooklyn drinking beer before five young men, one of whom was armed, accosted them and reportedly forced the father to flee the scene, according to the New York Times. Each of the men proceeded to rape the woman as her father sought help, although it took him 20 minutes before he located two police officers in their patrol car. By the time the three reached the playground and located the daughter, the five men had disappeared.

After surveillance video footage was released over the weekend showing the suspects entering a nearby deli just before the rape occurred, the police apprehended two of the young men on Sunday while two others surrendered, according to Fox News. Charges against the 14-year-old, 17-year-old, and two 15-year-olds in the case are still pending as the NYPD searches for the fifth suspect.

Local backlash against the NYPD arose when residents near the playground realized that the police did not inform them of the gang rape until two days after it allegedly occurred, according to the New York Post.

"The N.Y.P.D. should have reported this immediately,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who is himself a former police captain, the New York Times reported. “You can’t have a crime of this magnitude and this level of savage behavior and not have the residents of that area become aware of what happened.”

In response, NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis said, "A patrol car from the 73rd Precinct was approached on the street and told about the attack by the victim's father, who directed the officers to the scene," Fox News reported. "The police officers immediately responded and located the victim. The suspects had already fled."

The NYPD also responded,  saying that the department did reach out to local leaders on Friday, adding that the department usually issues a notice after receiving pertinent video footage or suspect leads. In this case, the police department did not receive that information until a day or two after the rape.

“We have been working closely with the N.Y.P.D. to bring the violent sexual predators who committed this horrific gang rape to justice and will not stop until every one of them is held accountable," said Brooklyn District AttorneyKen Thompson, according to the New York Times.

Follow Kathryn Blackhurst (@kablackhurst) on Twitter

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