19-year-old man arrested after woman stalked, raped inside Bronx park
NEW YORK - The NYPD says it has arrested a 19-year-old man who allegedly stalked, raped, and robbed a woman inside a Bronx park in broad daylight this week.
The suspect, identified as Christopher Martinez, is facing charges of rape, robbery, forcible touching, and criminal sex acts.
The shocking incident occurred on Tuesday at about 8:30 a.m. in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx.
The suspect was waiting for the 38-year-old woman to leave her home in the area of Beech Terrace and Beekman Avenue when he approached her with a knife and forced her to follow him, said police.
The suspect lead the woman across the street to St. Mary's Park where he brutally raped her before stealing her debit card.
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The assailant then fled westbound on East 141st Street. A short time later, he used the debit card to make a $3 purchase at a deli.
The victim, who did not know the assailant, was taken to a local hospital where she was listed in stable condition.
Residents tell FOX 5 News that the park has been an unsafe place for years.
"There are things that happen over here constantly, sadly, because the area is so big. I don't know I feel like we need a little more help out here," said one resident.
"I think they should put more surveillance cameras and things like that in the park because this is not the first time," said another resident.
Anyone with information about the brazen attack is encouraged to contact the NYPD Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or online at the CrimeStoppers website or on Twitter @NYPDTips.
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