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Hudson River Park rape suspect indicted
The man arrested for raping a 21-year-old woman in Hudson River Park last month has been indicted, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced on Tues., Oct. 23.
Jonathan Stewart, 25, was charged with predatory sexual assault, rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act in the first degree and sexual abuse in the first degree.
“Every time a sexual assault occurs in a public place, like a park, it destroys the delicate sense of safety that allows neighbors and visitors to appreciate the space without fear,” Vance said in a statement. “I commend the victim for her tremendous courage, and I thank members of law enforcement at the scene for quickly apprehending the defendant.”
According to court papers, Stewart approached the woman while she was sitting on a bench inside Hudson River Park, near West Street and Harrison Street, in the early morning hours of Sept. 22. He then started talking to her, and when she tried to walk away, Stewart physically assaulted the victim, dragged her to a nearby area and raped her.
The woman was able to escape and alert park police officers, and Stewart was found hiding in nearby bushes a short time later and arrested, according to the documents.
Senior home burglary
A 90-year-old woman who lives in a Downtown senior center told police on Wed., Oct. 17 that nearly $3,500 worth of clothing and jewelry was stolen from her apartment.
The woman, a resident of the Hallmark, at 455 North End Ave., said she had been having trouble locking the front door of her apartment, and recently realized the property was missing. She was unsure of when the items were actually stolen but told police it was likely sometime in the last six months. The missing property included two fur coats, a gold ring and a gold watch, police said.
An investigation is ongoing. Police noted in their report that several members of the Hallmark staff are able to access residents’ apartments using master keys. The woman also mentioned that numerous hired aides have come in and out of her apartment over the past six months.
Prisoner attempts suicide
A prisoner attempted to hang himself in a Downtown courthouse shortly after being arrested on Thurs., Oct. 18, officials said.
Officials found Oscar Batista, 32, hanging in a fifth-floor holding cell of the city’s special narcotics prosecutor’s offices at 80 Centre St. at around 2:15 p.m., according to the Fire Department of New York. He was immediately revived by paramedics and rushed to New York Downtown Hospital in critical condition.
Batista had been taken into custody that morning on money laundering charges, police said.
A Long Island man reported that his $14,000 motorcycle was stolen after having parked it near the South Street Seaport on Sat., Oct. 20.
The man, 27, told police he locked up the 2009 Honda bike near 93 South St. around 6 p.m., but when he returned two hours later, it was gone.
There are currently no suspects or witnesses, nor was there documented evidence of a perp tampering with the motorcycle’s lock or ignition at the scene of the crime, police said
Tourist’s unattended bag
A Brazilian tourist learned the unspoken laws of New York City on Sat., Oct. 20 after leaving her purse unattended in a Tribeca nightclub and returned to see that it had been whisked away.
The woman, 22, told police she had left the handbag under a pile of jackets around 2:30 a.m. while going to the bathroom at the Bottoms Up nightclub at 300 Church St. When she came back minutes later, the bag and all its contents — including two credit cards and $65 in cash — were gone.
Lock it up!
In yet another reminder of why it’s worth safeguarding one’s belongings, a man’s wallet was stolen from a FiDi New York Sports Club after he left his gym locker unlocked on Thurs., Oct. 18.
The man, 38, went to work out at the gym at 217 Broadway at around 3 p.m. When he returned to his locker two hours later, the wallet — which held two credit cards and $60 in cash — had been snatched up by an opportunistic thief, police said.
There was no evidence of forced entry, and the perp remains unidentified.
A man from Murray Hill got a rude surprise while picking up his son from the Spruce Street School on Mon., Oct. 15 when his pocket-sized belongings were stolen.
The man, 37, was walking into the school at 12 Spruce St. at around 11 a.m. when he was bumped and jostled several times, police said. Upon entering the building to find his son, he realized his iPhone and wallet had been stolen by an unknown perp.
He told police that he was later able to track the phone to an unspecified location on the Lower East Side using a digital G.P.S. application, but it hasn’t been recovered yet.
–By Sam Spokony