NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 17-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl were charged Tuesday in connection with a gang attack on another pair of teens in Central Park earlier this month.
Police said the victims – a 17-year-old girl and a 19-year-old boy – were approached by a group of about 15 teens as they sat in Heckscher Playground near the south end of Central Park around 9:30 p.m. Saturday, May 9.READ MORE: New York City Rolls Out $100 Incentive For Getting Vaccinated As CDC Report Warns Delta Variant As Contagious As Chicken Pox
The female suspect had a quarrel with the female victim, and the suspect took out a Taser and punched the victim in the face, police said.
As the female victim was being attacked, the male suspect took her purse and took her iPhone from inside, police said.
The group then ran off.
Police identified two suspects, and both have now been arrested, the NYPD said.
Jeffrey Valdez, 17, of Pleasantville, Westchester County, was charged with robbery, menacing, and criminal possession of a weapon.
The 14-year-old girl, whose name was not released, was charged with three counts of robbery, two counts of menacing, one count of assault, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, and a count of criminal possession of stolen property.
The incident was one of several crimes reported in Central Park in recent weeks – leading to anxiety among park visitors.READ MORE: Broadway Vaccine Mandate: Audiences Must Be Vaccinated And Masked; Performers, Crew And Staff Required To Be Vaccinated
On the night of Sunday, May 10, a man stole a purse from a teenage girl at 109th Street and East Drive, police said.
A mugging also took place along the 81st Street Transverse near Belvedere Castle on the morning of Sunday, May 10. In that incident, a 45-year-old man was choked and robbed of his wallet and backpack by a gun-wielding suspect.
And back in Heckscher Playground on the morning of Tuesday, May 12, police said a woman picked up a 2-year-old boy sitting on a swing and tried to take him, before his nanny stopped the woman and took the child back, police said.
Prior to the recent spike in crimes inside Central Park, police said there were only four incidents in the park this year.
“Every once in a while you have that aberration. That park remains one of the safest places in America,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said last week.
Still, New Yorkers were worried by the increase in muggings and assaults.
“It’s scary over here, and then you have this big park. I’m not trying to come out here at night time,” one woman said last week.MORE NEWS: Man Suffers Broken Nose In Alleged Anti-Asian Attack At Midtown Subway Station
Anyone with information in the other incidents was asked to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS, log onto the Crime Stoppers website, or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and enter TIP577.