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New York Public Advocate Calls On NYPD, Parks Department To Step Up Security Following Central Park Rape

David Mitchell is accused of raping a 73-year-old woman in Central Park. He appeared in court on Sept. 14, 2012. (credit: CBS 2)

David Mitchell is accused of raping a 73-year-old woman in Central Park. He appeared in court on Sept. 14, 2012. (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio said that he wants to know why the NYPD and the Parks Department did not respond to a preceding incident involving the suspect in Wednesday’s rape of a 73-year-old woman.

In a letter to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Parks Commissioner Veronica White on Saturday, De Blasio questioned the city’s response to a report by the woman that she encountered her alleged attacker David Albert Mitchell, 42, masturbating in the Ramble area, photographed the incident, and reported it to a park ranger.

But the NYPD said they never received a report and that no record of a reports exists.

Prior to the attack on Wednesday Mitchell allegedly tried to take the camera and delete the image, according to the victim.

Mitchell has been in and out of prison for decades, has been charged twice with rape, suspected of killing one woman, and acquitted in the killing of another, The New York Times reported. Prior to this week his most recent brush with the law occurred in October of 2011 when he was sent to prison for violating his probation.

On Friday Mitchell was arraigned and ordered held without bail on charges of first degree rape, robbery, assault, and other charges.

De Blasio cited an uptick in violent crime in the city’s parks as indicative of “an under -resourced security infrastructure.” He scolded the NYPD and the Parks Department for failing to act on the initial report by the victim and called the incident “deeply troubling.

De Blasio also demanded to know what steps would be taken to improve security in the city’s parks and prevent future criminal activity.

What steps do you think should be taken to improve security in the city’s parks? Let us know in our comments section below…