NBC 4 New York
Surveillance video of a man walking with a woman police say he later raped in Central Park early Sunday.
Police have identified a person of interest in a rape Sunday in Central Park where a woman walked into the park with her attacker and shared a bench with him before being assaulted.
Investigators would like to talk to 32-year-old Omar Hoist about the case, the NYPD says. The victim in the attack told police Sunday that her attacker's name was also Omar.
The woman was walking on 88th Street near Fifth Avenue around 3:30 a.m., on her way to visit someone at a nearby church that houses homeless people, when the suspect approached her, according to the NYPD. They started talking and were seen on surveillance video walking together. They entered the park near 100th Street and walked along a bike path before sitting down on a park bench.
The suspect then turned violent, police say, dragging the woman onto the grass and raping her. She was eventually able to get away and the suspect fled in the opposite direction.
It's not known if the victim knew the suspect before Sunday.
Park-goers who saw police investigating the scene said they were surprised and disturbed to hear about the assault in a usually safe area.
"It's so wonderful to to have this place and something like this...it breaks your heart," said Elizabeth Wilson.
Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.