A young couple and another woman were robbed in separate attacks in Central Park within a span of 24 hours over the weekend, prompting police to increase patrols in what the NYPD's Chief of Department called the "crown jewel of the city" while meeting with reporters Monday.
In the first mugging, a 20-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl were sitting in Hecksher Playground around 9:30 p.m. Saturday when they were approached by a group of about 15 teens, police said. A female suspect got into an argument with the 17-year-old girl, threatened her with a stun gun and then punched her in the face. Then a male suspect grabbed the girl's purse and took her phone.
The whole group then fled the park with the victim's iPhone.
On Sunday night, another woman was robbed in the park, NYPD Chief of Department James O'Neill said. A strange man walked up to her and grabbed her purse in that case; no injuries were reported.
"We are concerned because it's not something we see in Central Park," O'Neill said, adding that police did not believe the two attacks were related.
Authorities initially had a report of a 45-year-old man choked and robbed by a gang of teenagers, but police later said that report was unfounded.