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NYPD releases footage of rape suspect as authorities continue search for Central Park rapist amid crime surge in the city

Image source: WCBS-TV video screenshot

The New York Police Department on Thursday released footage of a person believed to be a suspect in a vicious Thursday morning rape that took place in Central Park.

What are the details?

According to a report from WCBS-TV, a female jogger in her 20s was reportedly knocked to the ground in Central Park, raped for at least 45 minutes, and reportedly choked to unconsciousness.

She was able to flag down help after regaining consciousness and was taken to a local hospital.

Police said that the suspect, who remains unnamed and on the loose at the time of this reporting, was later caught on surveillance camera. The suspect was seen clad in all-black clothing, wearing a black face mask and black ball cap-style hat. According to a report from the Daily Mail, the security footage showed the suspect using an emergency exit to enter a train station, bypassing paying the fare.

One female park-goer told the station that she was shocked to learn of the broad-daylight attack.

"I wish I could go wherever in the park that I wanted, but clearly you can't," the woman said.

Another added, "You would think in the morning you would be safer when it's daylight."

WCBS reported that sexual assaults in New York City are up at least 2.5% since 2020.

Police continue to investigate the incident and are on the lookout for the suspect.

Anyone with any information on the attack or the suspect's identity is asked to call NYPD's Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).

Anything else?

A second incident later took place at 103rd Street near FDR Drive, the station reported, but police do not believe that the attacks are related at this time.

“At this time we will just say that we have two separate sexual assaults, but we're not saying that the MOs are similar, no. We're just saying we have two separate assaults and we are investigating both, but we are exploring all angles at this time," NYPD Inspector Michael King told the station.

Authorities arrested 38-year-old Howard Shaw in the case of the 103rd Street attack.

Shaw, who was previously arrested for rape and robbery, was just released from jail two days ago.

The Daily Mail reported that both assaults came hours after a suspect raped a 13-year-old girl in the Bronx's Crotona Park after school.

Police are working to identify the suspect involved in the case of the child's assault.

Sexual assault and rape aren't the only crimes on the rise across New York City — the Daily Mail reports that felony assaults year over year have increased from 17,910 to 19,392.

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