NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police have arrested a second suspect in connection with a string of sexual attacks that have been terrorizing women in Brooklyn.
Police say 32-year-old Joshua Flecha of Queens was picked out of a lineup after he was arrested Monday on drug charges. Flecha is accused of grabbing a woman’s breast near the F train in Sunset Park on May 7.
1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa with the details of the arrest
Police are questioning him in nearly 20 or more gropings of women in that area and believe he may be one of the men in six sketches of suspects that have been posted around Brooklyn. Authorities believe up to four people may be responsible for the attacks.
Investigators say most of the victims were followed by their alleged attacker from a subway station.
Officers in Brooklyn arrested Flecha early Monday morning after police say they saw him acting suspiciously near some parked cars early in the morning on Greenwood Avenue and again on 17th Street.
Thinking he might be trying to break in to a car, police say officers approached Flecha and found marijuana on him. Officials said he was also holding a cell phone that was playing a pornographic video and his pants were unzipped at the time of his arrest.
According to authorities, a man matching Flecha’s description approached a 37-year-old woman on May 7th as she swiped her MetroCard at the 8th Avenue entrance to the F Line 7th Avenue and 9th Street subway station. That suspect grabbed the woman’s breasts, exposed himself and masturbated.
“It’s frightening. You know, it’s to a point where I don’t want to go out of my house any time past dark and I shouldn’t have to feel that way, Jamie Venezia told CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown.
“It makes me nervous. You know, being a new mother and it’s been going on for a while,” Lorena Blanca said.
When he was arrested, police said officers recognized him from one of the sketches of the Brooklyn suspects. Police say they will be doing additional lineups later today to see if Flecha is picked out as the suspect in any of the other attacks.
Police have found similarities in a half-dozen attacks that took place on the subway, the F line in particular, where women were attacked on the platform, walking up the stairs, or at the turnstiles.
The sexual assaults began in March. At least 20 incidents have been reported in South Brooklyn.
Last week, police arrested 26-year-old Adolfo Martinez on charges of sex abuse in the 3rd degree for allegedly groping an 18-year-old woman in Sunset Park.
“These people have been out here for a while now and it’s time to fight back ourselves. So they’re fighting back and they’re catching them. So I hope they catch the other two,” Michelle Cook said.
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