NBC 4 New York
Police are looking for a man who allegedly used a stun gun on a 69-year-old jogger and tried to rape her in Forest Park. A similar attack was reported in March. Checkey Beckford reports.
Police think the man who used a stun gun on a jogger before raping her at Forest Park in Queens last month might also be responsible for five other assaults there over the last two years.
The suspect attacked a 69-year-old woman running on a secluded trail Aug. 26, pushing her to the ground and raping her, police said. A sketch of the man was released Thursday.
Police said the rapist might also have been responsible for an attempted rape in the park on March 29. That time, an assailant used a stun gun on a 23-year-old jogger, threw her to the ground and started taking off her clothes. A couple walking their dog nearby scared the man away.
Police also linked the rapist to attacks in the park in in 2012 and 2011, but did not elaborate on why they believe the assaults are part of a pattern. No stun gun was used in the others. All six of the women were attacked during daylight hours at the park.
Three times between March 2011 and August 2012, a suspect threw victims to the ground, put his hand over their mouths and either fondled them or tried to take off their pants, police say. The victims were able to get away in those attacks.
And last November, a man touched a jogger with his exposed genitals and ran away.
A $22,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest of the suspect and the city parks department has doubled the number of park enforcement officers patrolling the area.
Despite the added security, women who frequent the park are worried about being attacked.
"I am little nervous, obviously, because I am pregnant and I come alone with my children," said Sonia Koulombis.
City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley represents the area around the park and is a jogger herself. She said she'd like to see more security at the park in addition to the 160 officers patrolling the area now.
"We don't want women to feel terrorized in the local park or unsafe and clearly they do now," she said.
-- Checkey Beckford contributed to this report.