NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police said charges are pending against four teenagers in connection with an alleged group rape of an 18-year-old woman in Brooklyn as investigators search for a fifth suspect in the case.
The four teens, who range in age from 14 to 17, are still being held by investigators. Two of the young men were turned in by their parents while the other two were found by police, authorities said.
Monday morning, community leaders in Brownsville gathered in the same playground where police said the brutal attack took place.
It happened just after 9 p.m. Thursday in Osborn playground. Sources said the woman had been drinking with her father deep in the park to avoid police, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.
That’s when the five young men approached the woman and her father, police said. One of the teens then pointed a gun at the father, insisting he leave, police said.
The father told community activists that he ran to a nearby store asking to use a phone, but was denied. At the same time, police said all five suspects took turns raping his daughter.
By the time the dad flagged down patrol officers, the suspects ran off, police said.
Community leaders are demanding to know why more wasn’t done to help the woman and her father.
“The store owner, he should be ashamed of himself,” said John Rodriguez with the 75th Precinct Community Council. “When this father came to him to ask him for help for his daughter and he did not allow him to call or even use his phone.”
“There’s a sense of responsibility to say that, ‘Oh, you must be here for some reason if you’re saying police,'” community activist Tony Herbert said. “A phone call should have been made.”
Sources told 1010 WINS the woman was so traumatized after the attack that she initially resisted police and medical assistance, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported. Special Victims Unit detectives were able to get statements from her on Friday.
Over the weekend, police released surveillance video of the suspects inside a bodega before the incident.
As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, community leaders demanded that the fifth suspect turn himself in.
“There’s still one actor in this whole play that’s still out there,” Herbert said. “And we want him to turn himself in. Do the responsible thing. We ask that his parents, you see the video, if you recognize that to be your child, turn him in like these other parents.”
Public Advocate Letitia James and Assembly member Latrice Walker also released a joint statement early Monday morning saying “the investigation is not over.”
“As the NYPD apprehends four suspects in one of the most heinous crimes imaginable, we stand with the survivor and send a clear message that our communities will never tolerate rape,” the statement said. “While pressure from our communities and the NYPD’s work has resulted in four suspects being apprehended, the investigation is not over and we encourage any other perpetrators or witnesses to come forward.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio released a statement Sunday saying he was “disgusted and deeply saddened” by the incident.
On Monday, the mayor defended the NYPD against assertions of a delay in responding to the gang rape, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.
“The victim’s father approached a patrol car from the 73 precinct on the street, told the officers about the attack, the officers immediately responded and found the victim at the playground,” de Blasio said. “There was not a 911 call, that’s important to recognize here. There had been a 911 call of course that would have instantly led to action.”
De Blasio said police responded quickly, and their investigations lead to the surveillance video used to help identify the suspects, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.
The gun the father said was used in the attack has not been recovered, Papa reported.
As for the bodega owner, he said in his defense that the father did not seem urgent or nervous and that people often come in the store asking to use the phone, Burrell reported.
It remains to be seen how the Brooklyn district attorney will charge the suspects in this case — those who are 16 and 17 are of age to be charged as adults, Papa reported.
According to sources, two of the suspects in custody said the incident with the woman was consensual, Burrell reported.
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.