New York

Sex Offender Suspected in Vicious NYC Attack on Tourist in Custody: Source

WARNING: The video featured below contains footage that some viewers may find disturbing

The sex offender suspected in the horrific sex attack and robbery of a 31-year-old German tourist as she walked back to her Airbnb in Manhattan last week is in police custody and being questioned, a senior law enforcement official tells NBC 4 New York.

The official says detectives are speaking to 28-year-old Keon Robinson in connection with the 3 a.m. May 4 attack in Harlem. Robinson was found hiding upstate on the second floor of a home in Schenectady around 9 a.m., the official said.

He resisted arrest and fought with law enforcement officers before he was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Regional Fugitive Task Force, along with members of the NYPD, New York State Police and local Albany police, officials said. His arrest came after the U.S. Marshals worked several leads. 

Authorities expect he will be transferred to the 32nd Precinct in Manhattan for processing. He faces charges of attempted rape, robbery, assault and sex abuse. 

Officials had been hunting Robinson in connection with the vicious attack, which was caught on surveillance cameras, for nearly a full week. 

Video of the attack shows the suspect snatch the woman's purse, then repeatedly punch her; police say she was hit so hard her teeth fell out. The woman falls to the ground, unconscious, and the suspect gropes her all over her body. (Warning: some may find elements of the above video disturbing.) 

Police believe Robinson may be connected to other unsolved sex crimes in New York City. 

Robinson is a former parolee who served seven years for first-degree robbery and first-degree sexual abuse. He was released in 2014 and is a registered Level 3 sex offender, meaning authorities believe him to have a high-risk for repeat crimes and consider him an ongoing potential threat to public safety. 

Robinson was jailed again, this time on a parole violation, last summer, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said at a news briefing Monday. He got out in January. The pattern of attacks began several months later, Boyce said.

Detectives had also been looking to question Robinson in connection with at least two other violent attacks, including a similar attack on April 24 in Hamilton Heights and another one April 27.

In the April 24 attack, the suspect walked up to a woman in her 30s on Bradhurst Avenue in Manhattan and told her, "This could be easy. I have a gun. This could be your day," according to NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce. The woman started screaming and the man punched her, then stole her purse, Boyce said. 

The April 27 attack involved another robbery, but Boyce said the May 4 attack was the only one of the three to involve a sex crime.

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