The 73-year-old woman who was raped in Central Park near Strawberry Fields yesterday has identified her attacker: NBC New York reports that she picked "42-year-old David Mitchell [out of] a lineup...at the Special Victims Unit Thursday afternoon." He is expected to be charged later today.
Authorities believe that Mitchell is homeless and say he was picked up yesterday by officers canvassing the area near the park. It seems that Mitchell allegedly threatened a man in Central Park on August 20th, and the victim in that incident recognized him as his attacker from the surveillance photos released yesterday. The rape victim had also told police that she believed her attacker was the man she spotted masturbating in the Ramble a week and a half ago; she had taken his photograph and he threatened her.
NBC NY adds:
Detectives requested a warrant for Mitchell's DNA as well as a warrant to view images on a digital camera memory chip they found on him. He has an extensive criminal record in Virginia and was released in March 2011 after spending about seven years in state prison on a kidnapping charge. He was acquitted of murder and sex assault charges in a separate case in 1989.
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne thinks that Mitchell will be charged with rape.
The rape victim, a birdwatcher frequently in Central Park, told the Post, "Kill him. Cut off his penis. That’s fine. Cut off his feet, then hit him over the head. Then give him life in prison... I hope he goes to jail for a long time, and he gets raped, over and over again."