NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Activists and elected officials called on Brownsville residents Sunday to help investigators find the five men who allegedly raped an 18-year-old woman in a playground Thursday night.
The attack happened in Osborn Playground in the area of Lott Avenue and Osborn Street in the Brooklyn neighborhood. Police said the woman was walking with her father when they were approached by five men, one armed with a gun.
The armed man pointed the gun at them and ordered the father to leave the area, police said. The father complied, and that’s when police said all five men raped the woman.
When the father came back with two officers, the suspects fled, police said. The woman was taken to the hospital where she was treated and released.
Police have released surveillance video of the men at a bodega before the incident.
According to police, four suspects who are believed to be in the surveillance footage are in custody, while one other is still on the run, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported. Two of the teens — one 14 years old, and the other 15 years old –were brought in by their parents for questioning, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported. The other two suspects in custody are ages 15 and 17.
“Get up, get outraged, and identify these individuals that we see in the video that’s being provided by the NYPD,” community activist Tony Herbert said at Osborn Playground on Sunday, 1010 WINS’ Samantha Liebman reported.
Raw outrage erupted as news of the sex assault spread. The traumatized young victim herself, cuts still visible on her arm, spoke off camera to CBS2’s Steve Langford:
“It’s really really disturbing to me,” she said. “These are memories that won’t go away.”
Others who gathered at the playground said they were not only upset it took two days to tell the public about the incident, but Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams wants to know how much time it took police to respond when the victim’s father summoned for help.
“There’s a missing piece to this entire incident that five individuals raped a person and there was a lapse in the response to come here,” Adams said.
The NYPD has denied there was any delay in getting the police to respond the day of the incident or in getting the images of the suspects out to the public.
“It is the worst nightmare of a family in particular of a father to have his daughter raped,” Adams said. “So you multiply that by five and then to be at the scene, and then have to leave the scene and to learn that your child was a victim of a rape — this is horrific.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio released a statement Sunday saying he was “disgusted and deeply saddened” by the incident.
“We will take every step possible to find and swiftly prosecute the assailants of this vicious crime,” he said. “Every New Yorker in every neighborhood deserves to feel safe and protected, and we will not stop until the perpetrators of this disturbing attack are held accountable for their actions.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS, visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.