NBC New York
Police released a new surveillance video they say shows a man who sexually assaulted two young children in South Ozone Park, Queens earlier this week. Ida Siegal reports.
Police released new surveillance video over the weekend that they say shows a man who sexually abused two young children in Queens last week and may be linked to a third case in the area.
The hunt for the sexual predator began Wednesday, when law enforcement sources say he forced a 7-year-old South Ozone Park girl who had been playing outside into an alley, told her to stick out her tongue and made her perform a sexual act.
Earlier that day, a different 7-year-old girl was sitting on her stoop in the same neighborhood when police believe the man approached her and grabbed her buttocks. The girl's 12-year-old sister yelled at the man, prompting him to run away, police said.
Police are investigating whether the suspect who abused the 7-year-old girls is the same man who a 14-year-old girl said exposed himself and then trailed her for several blocks in a tan van Thursday afternoon. Authorities had said the 14-year-old girl gave police a description of the suspect that matched the man being sought in connection with the earlier cases.
Meanwhile, police have stepped up patrols in the area and a $12,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest.
Parents in the community said they hoped someone would recognize the suspect soon.
"Somebody has to know who he is," said Cindy Santana. "If they do, hopefully they'll turn him in. Forget about the reward, do it for the little girl's sake."
-Marc Santia, Katherine Creag, Andrew Siff, Ida Siegal and Shimon Prokupecz contributed to this report