Cops Assign Permanent Patrols to Forest Park After Sex Attacks
QUEENS — In the wake of a series of frightening sexual attacks in Forest Park, the 102nd Precinct will assign permanent patrols to monitor the 550-acre area, cops announced during a community meeting.
The most recent sexual assault in the park occurred on March 29 about 7:25 p.m. when a 23-year-old woman was attacked while jogging. The suspect grabbed her from behind, shocked her with a stun gun and sexually assaulted her, cops said. The perpetrator is still on the loose.
“We are going to have a two-man post assigned to Forest Park year-round, seven days a week,” Capt. Henry Sautner, Commanding Officer of the 102nd Precinct, which covers Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill and Woodhaven, said at a community council meeting Tuesday.
Following the attack, Sautner said, the police temporarily beefed up its patrols in the park, including horse patrols and plainclothes officers, he said. Until then, there were occasional patrols in the park, but no permanent police presence.
The officers assigned to the new patrol unit will be selected soon and will work primarily during the daytime.
“Their primary function will be to be visible out on patrol in the park,” Sautner said. “Meeting, greeting people, dealing with quality of life violations, working with our counterparts in the Parks Department.”
After the stun gun attack, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, who represents Ridgewood, Middle Village, Glendale and Woodhaven, called for more cops and Parks Department officers to be assigned to the park.
In April, she also wrote a letter to Commissioner Raymond Kelly asking him to restore a mounted police unit to the area “with the option of it being stationed in Forest Park.”
The mounted unit had been removed more than a decade ago, Crowley said.
“In the immediate vicinity of the Park, other assaults have occurred, some against women some against users of the Park,”she wrote in her letter to Kelly.
While cops arrested a suspect in the stun gun sex assault in Forest Park, they later said he was the wrong man, but subsequently charged with an unrelated sex assault instead.
“It’s an ongoing investigation,” Sautner said.