A 21-year-old Bronx man has been arrested in a violent sex attack on a 53-year-old woman as her family watched a soccer game at a local park last month.
Michael Okonkwo was cuffed on charges of rape, strangulation, assault and petit larceny in the 9 p.m. attack at Soundview Park on Sept. 19, police said Friday. Information on a possible attorney for him wasn't immediately available.
The victim had been watching the game and went to her car to get a lawn chair, when a stranger slammed her to the ground by her hair, police have said. The man sat on top of her and covered her mouth but she was able to get a few screams out.
Her nephew came running.
“I heard my aunt screaming, calling my name. She was gasping for breath,” he told News 4 earlier this month. “I saw the man wrestling with my aunt. He was a tall guy. I tried to stop him. He pushed me back and started running away. He threatened me.”
The attacker then ran off. The nephew later said his aunt was doing OK physically but was struggling emotionally with the trauma of what happened.
Another man who was out with his family could not believe the brazen attack in what he calls a safe park heavily patrolled by police.
“It’s scary, it’s crazy because cops are always around here, they are always patrolling,” said Noel Hernandez. “They even get involved, they play with the kids and everything. They talk to the families. They’re very involved in the community.”