NYPD officer shot, critically injured on Staten Island

Thief puts victims in chokehold, steals bags in Central Park: NYPD

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NEW YORK (PIX11) – A violent attacker with a penchant for chokeholds who targets victims near Central Park in the middle of the night has struck twice this week, and police are asking for the public’s help to get him off the street.

The first attack happened shortly after midnight Monday near 74 Street and East Drive, police said.

The culprit snuck up behind a 47-year-old man and put him in a chokehold, pulling the victim to the ground and stealing his backpack, which contained $7 in cash, a debit card and two credit cards.

The next attack happened about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday near the same intersection. A second 47-year-old man was approached by the attacker who at first was just talking with him. Then, the culprit put the victim in a chokehold, pulled him to the ground and stole his bag, which had $140 in cash and a debit card inside.

Police released a sketch of the culprit Wednesday. He’s described as a black male, about 6 feet 5 inches tall who was wearing a fedora at the time of the attack.

Anyone with information is urged to call NYPD’s anonymous Crime Stoppers tip line at 1-800-577-TIPS.