A man linked to the transnational criminal gang MS-13 reportedly broke in through the second-floor bedroom window of a Brooklyn home where he raped an 11-year-old girl who’d been sleeping. The girl’s screams awoke her family, who called the police as the man escaped through the same window.
Julio C. Ayala, 18, was captured by authorities on Saturday and charged with rape, burglary, criminal sex act, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child, The New York Times reported. The man, who police say is affiliated with MS-13, was held on $500,000 bail after appearing in Brooklyn Criminal Court on the charges over the weekend.
According to police sources, Ayala is from El Salvador and lived just a few blocks from where the attack took place, as per The Times report. Police added that Ayala was found with a forged green card and Social Security card when he was arrested by authorities.
The attack took place on Wednesday at about 11:30 p.m. at the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Authorities arrested Ayala on Saturday after they released surveillance videos on Saturday hoping the public could assist in identifying and locating the man. Within hours of the videos were released, police received a call with information on Ayala, who police identified as the man seen in the footage pulling a sweatshirt over his top while walking in the area shortly after the attack, according to The Times.
As officers came to arrest him on Saturday at about 2:30 p.m., Ayala once again escaped through a window, this time his apartment’s. Ayala was captured in a construction site after authorities barricaded Flatbush Avenue half, police spokesperson Sgt. Lee Jones said.
Passersby, who quickly gathered around the area where Ayala was cornered, erupted in cheers when he was captured, about five blocks away from where the crime happened.
“People were yelling, saying, ‘Put him behind the bars. That guy, never let go,'” said Mike Picereli, 54, who watched from the pizza shop where he works, according to The Times.
Other onlookers said that Ayala couldn’t have come out of his hiding spot because the mob that surrounded the place could have hurt him. At that point, police were trying to protect him.
“He wasn’t actually coming out because the mob was angry, so the cops tried to protect him and shield him,” said Vallan Peters, 52, who works at a sewing shop two doors down from the building where Mr. Ayala was found.
Assistant District Attorney Victoria Nunez said Ayala confessed to detectives that he was in the bedroom but claimed he’s “never done anything like that before,” as quoted in The Times report.
Ayala’s next court date is scheduled for September 7.