Just before 11 p.m. last night police responded to a report of a sexual assault in progress in the vicinity of Oceanview Avenue in Brighton Beach. When they arrived at the scene, the perp had fled—his 21-year-old victim told police she was sexually assaulted by a man brandishing a gun and a knife. She described him a Hispanic man in his 20s, wearing a dark-hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.
Officers with the 60th Precinct immediately began canvassing the area, and on the east side of Brighton 10th Street, two uniformed officers spotted a man matching the description, walking north on Neptune Avenue. When they pulled their patrol car in front of the man in an attempt to question him, he ran across Neptune Avenue and opened fire on the cops. Police say he discharged one round in their direction, but missed. The cops did not return fire, but he escaped on foot on East 12th Street.
The NYPD says they've positively identified the suspect, and have released this photo. His name, according to police, is Norman Vanigas, a 23-year-old who resides at 1750 East 16th Street in Brooklyn. He's approximately 5'5", 140 lbs., with black hair and brown eyes. A $12,000 reward has been offered for information leading to his arrest and conviction ($10,000 is coming from the group COP SHOT, and $2,000 from Crime Stoppers). Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).
Hours after this assault, around 2 a.m., a man dragged a woman off Bergen Street in Crown Heights and raped her on a rooftop, in an apparently unrelated attack. The suspect, who is still at large, is described as light-skinned, 5-foot-4 with a medium build and wearing a black baseball hat, white T-shirt and dark pants.