Search continues for suspect in Central Park rape

Manhattan

MANHATTAN — As the search continues for the man accused of raping a jogger in Central Park, police released new surveillance Friday of the suspect.

The suspect was seen wearing all black with a black face mask on.

Just before 7:30 a.m. Thursday, police responded to a 911 call of an assault in the vicinity of Center Drive near the Wollman Rink in Central Park, authorities said.

The 27-year-old woman ran past a man sitting on a bench when he then came up behind her and choked her until she lost consciousness, according to law enforcement sources.

The victim regained consciousness to find the man sexually assaulting her near a staircase in the park, law enforcement sources said.

A struggle ensued and the man took off, fleeing the scene, sources said.

She was taken to an area hospital where police listed her in stable condition.

PIX11 News also obtained surveillance video of the same man who was seen walking into a smoke shop on West 38th Street and Eighth Avenue just minutes after the brutal attack Thursday morning.

The store owner said the man was trying to get rid of a cellphone, but he was turned away.

About 45 minutes later, another woman reported being sexually assaulted on a footpath by East 103rd Street, near FDR Drive, police said. The suspect in the second attack was later taken into custody, according to the NYPD. The two incidents are not connected.

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). 

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