NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There’s been a big break in the case of three attempted rapes in Queens.
Police say the suspect is now in custody, and his stepfather helped catch him.READ MORE: Police Seek Man Accused Of Groping 12-Year-Old Girl On Bus In Midtown
As CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reports, there’s a huge sigh of relief for police and New Yorkers near Forest Park in Queens.
Investigators say they’ve got the 20-year-old suspect responsible for three terrifying attacks on two women and a 14-year-old girl, all nearly raped in broad daylight.
Police say the quick arrest is thanks in large part to the suspect’s stepdad.
“The father taking it upon himself to call the 102 precinct on his stepson really helped us expedite getting this individual off the street sooner than later,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison.
Harrison says the first attack happened around 10 a.m. Thursday morning. A 20-year-old woman was on her way to work at Jamaica Avenue and 104th Street. That’s when the suspect allegedly came from behind, grabbed her buttocks, picked her up and tried to jog with her. The woman screamed and got away.
Next, around 12:30 p.m., police say the suspect targeted a 14-year-old girl who was walking while FaceTiming her friend at 84th Avenue and 118th Street.
“Our perpetrator came from behind, throwing our victim into the bushes, trying to pick her up and pull down her pants, at which time she screamed and our perpetrator fled off,” Harrison said.READ MORE: Gabby Petito Search: Video Shows Couple Questioned About Physical Altercation In Utah, Fiancé Told Police Road Trip Created 'Emotional Strain'
The third and final similar attack happened just minutes later, allegedly in the park near Woodhaven Boulevard and Forest Park Drive. That 24-year-old woman also screamed and got away.
Thursday night, police released pictures of the suspect from surveillance video they found. Friday morning Harrison says the 102 precinct got a phone call.
“Our perpetrator’s stepfather called, saying that he saw his [stepson] on television… that he saw the video that was shared and he threw his stepson out of the house,” Harrison said.
Police stepped up patrols near the park, and by 10 a.m. picked him up at Myrtle Avenue and Memorial Drive.
Chief Harrison says when cops found him, the suspect was wearing the same shorts and sneakers he was wearing during the attacks.
Charges are pending.
MORE FROM CBS NEW YORKMORE NEWS: Justice Department Distributes $568 Million To Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme Victims
- Caught On Video: Off-Duty NYPD Officer Shoots Carjacking Suspect In Brooklyn
- ‘The Kids Were Freezing’: NYC Public School Teachers Instructed To Keep Windows Open To Comply With COVID Guidelines Even As Temperatures Drop
- Experts Warn: List Of COVID-19 Stimulus Scams Is Growing
You can get the latest news, sports and weather on our brand new CBS New York app. Download here.