NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 17-year-old boy has been charged with assaulting a teenage girl with a brick in Astoria, Queens this week.
As CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported, Omer Khogali, of the East Elmhurst section of Queens, was charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon in connection with the Tuesday attack.
Investigators said they were able to make the arrest after publicizing a surveillance video of the suspect. They said several people came forward identifying Khogali of Queens as the offender.
“I just moved here, like two months ago, and I am totally shocked and scared now, because I walk form the train at night,” said neighbor Gina Brady. “and it’s dark out, and I’ll always be looking over my shoulder now.”
Police said Khogali bludgeoned the 16-year-old girl with a brick, then walked back into the range of the surveillance video, where he’s seen dropping an object that police say was the brick he used in the attack.
He then takes off.
Authorities say the alleged victim may have voluntarily gone into the alley with the suspect. Police sources have identified her as Michelle Rodrigez of Astoria.
City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-22nd), who represents the district, said the victim’s choice to go into the alley is no excuse for the brutal assault.
“This is a vicious attack – whether they knew each other or didn’t know each other,” Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. told CBS 2’s John Slattery. “Really no excuse for this. This guy is an animal. And luckily we have this videotape.”
Sources said the victim regained consciousness sometime late Friday or early Saturday. She was in critical, but stable, condition at Elmhurst Hospital Center.
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