A man accused of robbing and punching a woman walking from a Manhattan subway station last month has been arrested. Now, the NYPD is looking to see whether he's the same robber who brutally beat and sexually assaulted a German tourist on Thursday morning. Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said, "Right now, they look to be the same cases, the same M.O."
Police announced today that Bronx resident Jesse Hardy, 28, was arrested last night for the April 24 robbery of a 35-year-old woman. The victim had left the subway station at 145th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue and was in front of 130 Bradhurst Avenue when the male suspect allegedly walked up behind her and said, "I have a gun. Just give me your bag." Then he punched the victim and took her purse, police said. Update, 5/8: Police released Hardy after determining he had nothing to do with the attacks.
The victim's credit card was used at a store, where the suspect was caught on surveillance footage. "We showed it to that victim and she identified him immediately," Boyce told reporters on Friday.
The second violent robbery took place blocks away from the first incident. On May 4, the 31-year-old tourist left the subway and was walking on West 146th Street back to her Airbnb rental when she was approached by a man in front of 219 West 146th Street, police said. The suspect "forcibly removed her purse, struck the victim repeatedly about the face with a closed fist then sexually assaulted her," authorities said.
The suspect allegedly said, "I have a gun. Give me your bag," before knocking the victim's teeth out and causing considering trauma to her face. He fled east on 146th Street.
Surveillance footage from the second attack and assault was released. Warning, the footage may be extremely disturbing to watch:
A second video of the suspect in the May 4 attack was released as well:
Boyce said on Friday that once the suspect in the April 24 incident was caught, they would "put him in a lineup for the second case."
Anyone with information in regards to this robbery is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.