Police are searching for a fifth suspect in the gang rape of a woman in a Brooklyn park as furious residents and outraged officials try to grapple with the abhorrent crime in their midst.
"I think all over the city we are feeling anger and disgust at this horrible act, this poor young woman attacked by teenagers, her father forced away by gunpoint," Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference Monday.
"I feel this very personally. I am the father of a young woman," the mayor said. "This is the kind of thing that deeply, deeply troubles me and it's an intolerable situation. We're going to fight to make sure young women don't go through this type of tragedy."
De Blasio said the NYPD has been "very aggressive" in their investigation and was confident they would find the fifth suspect in the sex attack on Thursday night in Osborn Playground in Brownsville.
Investigators didn't disclose the names of the four suspects in custody, but said two are 15 years old and the other two are 14 and 17. Charges against the teens were pending Monday morning.
Authorities say the 18-year-old victim was walking through the park with her father when the suspects set on the pair. One of the suspects pointed a gun at the father and told him to leave the park.
The father found a patrol car from the 73rd Precinct on the street and told the officers about the attack. The officers immediately responded and went with the father to the park, where they found the victim.
She had been raped by each of the attackers, authorities said. The woman was taken to Kings County Hospital for treatment.
De Blasio shot down reports there was a delay in response to the rape, emphasizing the father had physically flagged police on the street and never made a 911 call.
When asked why it took police two days to tell the public about the rape as the suspects were still on the loose, de Blasio said he wasn't aware of the police investigation timeline in the case.
"I don't know exactly when the information was verified to the point that it could have been public and obviously because it was a rape investigation, there were real sensitivities, so I want to be careful, not knowing the exact process by which NYPD got to the decision of when it was time to divulge suspects," he said.
Residents Monday were still dealing with the news of the brutal sex attack in their community.
"It's intolerable that a lady can't walk down the street," said an outraged Michael Thomas.
"It makes me feel so sad I could cry," said Emma Hunt.
Verna Reid has lived in the neighborhood for decades and said she couldn't fathom the attack.
"A lot of people just go behind their doors and say it's not their problem," said Reid. "This has become all of our problem. That's somebody's child. It could be my granddaughter or their child."
Shawanda Smith, a mother of two teenage daughters, lives steps from the playground, wished she were home that night and could have helped the victim.
"So sorry. If I could have helped you, I would have helped you," she said.
City Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo condemned the attack and called on residents to cooperate with police investigators.
"When an 18-year-old girl can get raped while walking with her father in a park by five men in Brownsville, New York, we have hit an all-time moral low in the City of New York," she said.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams previously issued a statement saying he was "sickened" by the attack and urged the city to improve the lighting and design of public spaces such as Osborn Park.
"I do not accept a city where reports of rape and sexual assault are on the rise," he said.
Anyone with information about the fifth suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.