NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD has released surveillance images of a group of teens wanted in connection with a string of violent attacks in Central Park.
An 86-year-old man was grabbed by the collar and thrown to the ground at 76th Street and East Drive as he walked past the park entrance around 12:30 a.m. on Sept. 16, police said. The suspects allegedly took off with the man’s wallet, which contained $20 and credit cards.
Weeks later, police said the teens tried to jump into a pedicab in the park and steal a 60-year-old man’s iPhone 6s, but failed.
A 21-year-old man was leaving the park when he was attacked and mugged just before 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 7.
Days later, a 31-year-old man was riding his bike on Fifth Avenue and East 102nd Street when the suspects tried to grab his backpack off him. They ran off empty handed and minutes later attacked a 47-year-old man riding a Citi Bike near 95th Street, police said.
“He just hit me in the head, knocked me off the bike,” the victim told CBS2 last month. “My iPhone had fallen out of my pocket onto the ground and one of the kids picked it up and grabbed it and saw it was an iPhone 7 and started waving around saying, ‘Look at what we’ve got! An iPhone 7, I am going to keep this.’”
The incidents prompted the NYPD to step up patrols in the park, but people like Kevin who frequent the park said they feel safe.
“I feel safe, I don’t worry about that. I’ve never had it happen to me, I’m just concerned for other citizens,” he told 1010 WINS’ Holli Haerr.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS, visit the Crime Stoppers website, or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and enter TIP577.