Police have finally made an arrest in a string of sexual assaults that were committed in Forest Park in Queens between 2011 and 2013.
The NYPD has arrested Mark Andrade, a 45-year-old man in Richmond Hill, after investigators said they hit on a DNA match based off of evidence from one of the six assaults that took place. At a press conference Thursday, Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce told reporters that investigators had previously recovered a beer bottle that a 23-year-old survivor grabbed from her attacker in a 2013 sexual assault and swabbed it for DNA.
Boyce said the match in New York State's DNA database came up after Andrade was recently arrested for grand larceny in Nassau County, a crime that required him to give a DNA sample. "We have a young lady who helped us identify her attacker," Boyce said.
Andrade's grand larceny arrest was in 2015 for stealing copper from utility poles in Rockville Center, according to the Daily News. Police said Andrade has six prior arrests, but it wasn't until the grand larceny charge that his DNA was swabbed.
In addition to charging Andrade in the attempted rape of the 23-year-old jogger, police are looking to charge him for the other five sex attacks in the park, including a stun gun-aided rape of a 69-year-old woman in 2013.
DNAinfo reports that last year the city finally installed cameras in the park, which local residents have long demanded.