A 19-year-old woman reported that she was raped yesterday in Riverside Park. According to NYC Parks Advocates, "The incident occurred Monday morning at approximately 2:15 a.m. beside a tree adjacent to Dinosaur Playground between W. 96/97th Streets."
WCBS 2 reports, "The woman had been arguing with her boyfriend near the park. Police officers told the couple to go home and the woman walked back into the park alone, according to a source close to law enforcement." The source also said, "The woman’s boyfriend went into the park looking for her and found her on the ground where she claimed to have been raped."
According to the Post, the boyfriend is not a suspect at this time. And NBC New York says, "Police are questioning a man in connection to the incident. The victim apparently knew her attacker."
Photograph of NYPD detectives in Riverside Park by Geoffrey Croft/NYC Parks Advocates
Police were in the park today, photographing the scene—the woman had left her purse and cellphone by a tree, apparently where she was attacked. And park-goers were shocked, given that the park is considered generally safe. One woman told WCBS 2, “I go running in here every day, that’s horrible. I’m probably not going to go running alone in the dark anymore."
Earlier this year, a 24-year-old female jogger was attacked and nearly raped in Riverside Park, between 122nd and 125th Streets—luckily good Samaritans scared away the attacker. And two years ago, police believed that two attacks—one near 120th Street and one at 98th Street—in the park were related. Also in 2010, a man raped his date while taking her on a picnic in the park—Hugues Akassy was convicted of the rape, as well as harassing three other women, last year.