NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Three young women were assaulted by a Queens park in broad daylight Thursday, and police are now searching for the suspect.
Police say the three victims called 911 within a few hours of each other and the incidents happened only a few blocks apart. All three say they had just fought off a man trying to sexually assault them.
Video shows one woman wrapped in a blanket limping to an ambulance in near the Woodhaven Boulevard entrance to Forest Park.
Police say around 1 p.m., a 24-year-old woman was walking along a trail in the park when a strange man grabbed her from behind, pushed her to the ground and pulled her pants down.
The woman fought her assailant off and he ran away.
Police believe this was the third attempted rape in three hours.
“That’s certainly alarming,” Kew Gardens resident Rose Bracconier told CBS2’s Ali Bauman.
“Seems like a very random thing, though, because with this community, I always feel safe walking around here,” Patrick Hines said.
Just before 11 a.m., police say a 20-year-old woman was walking on 104th Street a few blocks away from the park when a strange man put his arms around her and lifted her off the ground. The woman struggled, and the man put her down and ran away.
At 12:30 p.m., a 14-year-old girl told police she was walking a few blocks away by 118th Street and 84th Avenue when a strange man grabbed her from behind, pushed her into the bushes and tried pulling off her clothes.
But the teenager also fought back, and the man took off running back towards Forest Park.
“I always pass here. Nothing really happens,” Kew Gardens resident Rovin Lan said.
Crime scene unit investigators spent the following hours searching the dark and leafy park.
“I have my dad with me here, so he walks me home every night when I come to pick up my son, so we’re normally very careful,” Bracconier said.
The suspect is described as 5 feet 8 inches tall and was last seen wearing a t-shirt, cargo shorts and white shoes.
One of the three victims went to the hospital with minor injuries.
Anyone who has information regarding these incidents is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-8477 or for Spanish, 1-888-577-4782. Tips can also be sent to the NYPDTips Twitter account or submitted online at NYPDCrimeStoppers.com.
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