Four teenagers are in custody, and a fifth suspect — believed to be a young adult — remains at large, following a brutal New York gang rape last week, MSN is reporting.
Meanwhile, the actions of the victim, her father, nearby businesses and residents, and the NYPD that night are raising serious concerns about the way the rape was reported and how it was responded to.
Police say the 18-year-old victim and her father were at Brooklyn’s Osborn Playground Thursday night, in the Brownsville neighborhood, drinking beer.
— NY News Now (@nynewsn) January 10, 2016
According to CNN, law enforcement officials say the two were deliberately drinking in a dark, remote part of the playground, in order to not be seen by police.
At about 9:00 p.m., five people, one of them armed, walked up to the father and daughter and ordered the father away.
“One of them put a gun in my face, telling me to run, and all of them had their way with her.”
As the father ran off looking for help, the teens and their adult accomplice took turns raping the victim. By the time the father returned with help, the rapists had left the scene and run off into the surrounding neighborhood.
It took nearly 20 minutes for the father to return to the scene of the gang rape with police officers. What happened in those 20 minutes is a matter of dispute.
Police would like to know how it took twenty minutes for the father to manage to summon help in a populated area surrounded by homes and businesses. The father did run into a nearby bodega (which is like a convenience store, without gas pumps, for those not familiar with the term) and ask for help, but he says employees at the bodega turned him away. The bodega worker, on the other hand, says the father was drunk and incoherent.
Meanwhile, none of the neighborhood’s residents called 911, despite the woman’s screams.
Further, the victim was less than cooperative with police. Authorities say she, too, was drunk, as well as combative, at point even biting an officer, and refused to be transported to the hospital.
New York officials waited two days to make the gang rape public, a fact that is not lost on Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, according to the Washington Post.
“A rape takes place on the Upper East Side, it would not take two days for that information to come out, and the people to be protected, and the people to be aware.”
On Saturday, New York police released surveillance video of some of the suspects entering a nearby deli.
— CNN (@CNN) January 11, 2016
Mateo Gomez, an attendant at Laida Deli, said the surveillance footage came from his deli, and that he recognized the rape suspects as teens who come into his store from time to time to steal food.
“They’re bad boys.”
As of this writing, four of the gang rape suspects are now in custody. Two of the suspects, both juveniles, were turned in to police by their mothers. The other two, also juveniles, were apprehended. A fifth suspect, an adult, remains at large.
In a statement, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio called the gang rape “disgusting.”
“I am disgusted and deeply saddened by the horrific attack. Every New Yorker in every neighborhood deserves to feel safe and protected, and we will not stop until the perpetrators of this disturbing attack are held accountable for their actions.”
As of this writing, charges against the four juveniles in custody in connection with the New York gang rape are pending.
[Image via Shutterstock/Pikul Noorod]