NEW YORK — A man was arrested Friday after police launched an investigation into an attack on several women in Inwood Hill Park on Wednesday morning, according to the NYPD.
The scary incidents all occurred in the span of just over an hour in the Inwood park, authorities said.
According to police, a 34-year-old woman was walking in the park around 10:50 a.m. when the unidentified man confronted her and told her he wanted to sexually assault her.
He then punched the woman in the face and stole her iPhone and Apple Watch before fleeing, officials said.
Then, around 11:30 a.m., police believe the same man approached a 40-year-old woman walking her dog in the park and threatened to rob and sexually assault her. He also threatened to kill the woman’s dog, authorities said.
The man fled when another person jogging on the path ran by, police said.
Finally, just before noon, a 44-year-old woman was walking her dog when the man cam up behind her and asked her a question, officials said.
He then hit her in the head with a tree branch, causing the victim to fall to the ground, police said.
The suspect then pulled down her shorts, but fled when a passerby interrupted and scared him off, the NYPD said.
The woman was taken to an area hospital for treatment.
The NYPD described the man they’re looking for as standing about 6 feet tall and last seen wearing blue shorts, a T-shirt and a disposable face mask.
In 2004, 21-year-old Julliard student Sarah Fox was found dead in this park. Her murder is still unsolved.
City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez says he’s been advocating for a larger police presence in the uptown parks for over 10 years.
“If we can talk about a certain area that’s been discriminated, we can look at this,” Rodriguez said.
Inwood Hill Park is one of the largest parks in Manhattan, so he’s calling for 25 Parks Enforcement Patrol officers there and the nearby Fort Tryon and Highbridge parks.
The mayor announced Thursday evening that they’re increasing deployment to the area.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).