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Accused Central Park Rapist Allegedly Attacked Two Other Women on UWS

By Julie Shapiro | October 9, 2012 4:33pm | Updated on October 9, 2012 5:01pm

MANHATTAN CRIMINAL COURT — The homeless man who was charged with raping and robbing a 73-year-old birdwatcher in Central Park last month is also accused of attacking two other women the same day, according to stunning court documents.

David Mitchell, 42, allegedly choked the elderly woman and pounded her head into the ground while sexually assaulting her near Strawberry Fields in broad daylight Sept. 12.

About an hour after he fled, he allegedly groped two other women on the Upper West Side — one on West 70th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue and one at West 71st Street and Broadway —  before police captured him that evening, according to the indictment, released Tuesday.

Mitchell attacked the birdwatcher to retaliate for photographing him masturbating in the Ramble several weeks earlier and made off with her camera, the DA's office said.

The suspect was charged with rape, criminal sexual act and robbery, among other charges, in connection with the assault of the elderly woman, and forcible touching and sexual abuse for the attacks on the other two women, the DA's office said.

When he was arrested, Mitchell allegedly threatened the officers and said he would relieve himself in the police van.

"I'm going to spit in your face," Mitchell said, according to court documents. "I'm going to punch you in the face." 

Mitchell, who was carrying condoms, also told cops he was homeless and had recently been released from jail.

Mitchell has an extensive criminal including a 1989 arrest for allegedly raping and beating an 84-year-old woman to death in West Virginia. He was later found not guilty.

In 2003, Mitchell pleaded guilty to abducting a woman in Virginia and served more than eight years in prison.

Other charges Mitchell now faces in New York include assault, criminal possession of a weapon, strangulation, menacing and public lewdness, the DA's office said.

The weapons charge is related to an Aug. 20 incident in which Mitchell is accused of threatening to stab a man during an argument in Central Park, according to the DA's office.

If convicted on the top rape charge, Mitchell faces five to 25 years in prison, the DA's office said.

"Any sexual assault is unacceptable, but one that occurred in broad daylight in a public place is particularly shocking," District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement.

"We thank the victim for her courage, and for her assistance in the investigation, and we thank the NYPD for its swift apprehension of the suspect, which led to today’s indictment."