NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A judge set bail at $500,000 Thursday for a man suspected in a series of sex assaults that occurred within about an hour this week on Staten Island.
Taylor Hawkins, 27, of Staten Island, has been charged with attempted rape, robbery, assault, sex abuse, attempted sexually motivated robbery, and other counts in the Tuesday attacks, four of which happened within an hour.
He appeared for an arraignment on Thursday.
Police said Hawkins was picked up Tuesday night in the West Brighton area after police spotted him in the vehicle they were looking for in connection with the attacks.
Four victims, including a teenage girl, were attacked in the span of an hour.
Police said starting at 5:30 a.m. the suspect went after the women — all of them alone at bus stops in West Brighton.
The 14-year-old girl was the last of the victims. Police said she was grabbed and hit by the suspect who allegedly tried to force her to perform a sex attack. The teen managed to escape and run to a deli for help.
“She just ran into the store and asked for help. Like, you know, ‘Please call the police, someone tried to rape me,'” said deli worker Nicholas Aguilar. “But already see her face, it was already red, she was crying.”
Brandi Romaine told CBS2 over Facetime that she was in the store and tried consoling the girl until an ambulance arrived.
“She goes into detail — she says the man took her from behind while she was on her phone, tries to choke her,” Romaine said. “She tried to scream, but couldn’t get nothing out.”
All four victims, who range in age from 14 to 64, were taken to Richmond University Medical Center. Their injuries included cuts and bruises on their mouths, faces and legs.
A complaint also accuses Hawkins in a fifth incident that transpired earlier in the morning. Around 2:35 a.m. at Young and Targee streets on Staten Island, Hawkins allegedly pulled on a woman’s purse and punched and slapped her in the face, prosecutors said.