VALLEY STREAM, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Nassau County police said a suspect wanted for raping a woman in a Long Island park may have other victims.
Police released a sketch of the man they said beat and choked a woman before raping her at Valley Stream State Park on Sunday. The victim was walking alone along a path when she was attacked, police said.
“She’s walking on the trail, sees the suspect and the incident occurs pretty much immediately,” said New York State Park Police Chief Richard O’Donnell.
Police said the woman was raped and beaten and was left with broken ribs and a bruised face.
Detectives describe the suspect as a black man between 25 and 35 years old, 5-foot-7 to 5-9 with a thin build and short braids on the sides of his head.
The description is disturbingly similar to one given by two women in two other attacks last month.
Investigators said a man with the same description approached a 58-year-old woman outside her home in Lynbrook and began punching her. He then pushed her inside and tried to rip off her clothes, police said.
A neighbor heard the woman yelling for help and called police.
“I saw this black man with braids in his hair on top of her. I closed my door and said ‘I’m calling 911,'” the neighbor told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall. “He heard that and he left.”
“My brother heard her screaming and came outside and the kid ran away,” neighbor Cassandra Brown told CBS 2’s Andrea Grymes.
The suspect took off on a bicycle, police said.
About 20 minutes later in Valley Stream, a 30-year-old woman was walking near the train station on Mill Road when police said a man riding a bicycle grabbed her from behind.
The woman, who was seven months pregnant at the time, tried to run away. That’s when police said the suspect pushed her to the ground and punched her in the face.
He then tried to rape her, but she was able to fight him off, police said.
The park victim’s husband said he wants swift justice.
“I want him to be taken out, taken off the streets,” said the husband, who wanted to remain anonymous to protect his family, told CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown. “This person didn’t want money. He only wanted one thing and it was to catch a cheap feel and violate her.
“I found her on the floor. She was bleeding, and I took her to the hospital,” the husband told Hall. “During the attack, she said, ‘I’m pregnant,’ and he didn’t care or hold any remorse or stop.”
The husband told Grymes he just wants his family to know they’re safe in the place they call home. He said he is speaking out to raise awareness — in hopes it’ll help police make an arrest.
“I just want it to be a safe place to live again,” he said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.
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