Police have caught the man who allegedly attacked and raped a Long Island woman near Penn Station Monday morning. The attacker, Paul Smalls, 43, of Brooklyn, has a previous arrest record that includes attempted murder, weapons possession, and busts for robbery, sexual abuse and assault.
The 39-year-old woman had spent the weekend with friends in NJ, and spent Sunday evening shopping in Manhattan. She was walking toward Penn Station around 1 a.m. on 31st Street near Eighth Avenue when Smalls violently grabbed her, dragged her behind a street food vendor's cart and into a parking lot, where he allegedly raped her. Afterwards, he calmly walked back to the station, while the woman gave a description of him to police officers, who quickly apprehended him. Smalls was arrested on charges of first-degree rape, and is being held on $75,000 bail.
The Post "exclusively" reports that Smalls was busted in 2006 for an assault on two women in Brooklyn, during which he was accused of beating up one and punching and kicking the other, as well as burning her on the lips with a cigarette. (The paper also adds, "It's unclear why the NYPD did not officially release details of the alleged rape attack to the public"). According to the latest crime statistics, rape is up 15.2 percent this year.