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Pregnant Mom Robbed at Gunpoint as She Took Daughter to McCarren Park

By Meredith Hoffman | October 19, 2012 7:19am | Updated on October 19, 2012 8:25am

WILLIAMSBURG — A pregnant woman was robbed at gunpoint as she took her 14-month-old daughter to a Williamsburg playground, police said.

Rachel Massey was pushing her child in a stroller toward McCarren Park's swings at 5 p.m. Tuesday when a teenage boy pointed a black handgun inches from her chest.

"He said 'give me your phone' and I said 'I'm sorry?'" Massey told DNAinfo New York.

"I didn't even process it. "I think, 'Oh my God, what if he had just pulled the trigger?'"

Massey — who visits McCarren daily with her daughter, Olivia, and has lived in the neighborhood seven years — was in such shock that after handing the boy her iPhone on the park's edge at Lorimer Street, she started to sprint after him.

"I left Olivia with my sister and told her to call 911," said Massey, who is four months pregnant.

"I know cops would have told me to let the guy go... but in the moment I was on autopilot. Afterwards it really upset me."

The man, who she described as about 16 and wearing a black hooded top, was eventually cornered.

"A guy in the park chased him and stopped him in the tennis courts, and got him to give back the phone," Massey, 36, said.

But the robber then fled. Cops said they still have not made any arrests.

"It's disturbing, really unusual," said Deputy Inspector Terence Hurson, commanding officer of the 94th Precinct.

"It's unusual for us to take gunpoint robberies on the street."

Hurson said the Tuesday theft followed two armed robberies early Monday morning, just blocks from McCarren Park. Two men were robbed on Driggs Avenue by a pair of teenagers, one with a handgun, Hurson said.

At 12:20 a.m., a man was walking home on Driggs Avenue between Kingsland Avenue and Sutton Street when two teenage men approached him from the rear and took his phone and wallet after pointing a gun at him. 

Then, at 12:30 a.m., on the corner of Driggs Avenue and Kingsland Avenue, the two suspects held another man at gunpoint and stole his iPhone and wallet, Hurson said.

"Certainly Monday night it was the same two guys," Hurson said.

Another gunpoint robbery blocks away Wednesday night led cops to arrest two suspects, who could be responsible for the incidents earlier this week, Hurson said.

Mamadou Ndiaye, 17, and Frederick Rivera, 18, are suspected of robbing a man — using an imitation pistol that appeared to be a black handgun —  on Huron Street and Manhattan Avenue and stealing the man's cell phone, police said.

"We are looking into whether they are the two perpetrators from the Monday morning robberies and from the McCarren Park incident," Hurson said.

Hurson noted that yet another robbery occurred in McCarren Park Thursday during the day — and that once again it was a woman with a child.

The suspect — an unarmed man who was about 30 years old — rode up on his bike and "snatched a phone from a woman's hand who was pushing a baby stroller" on Driggs Avenue and Union Avenue, Hurson said.

He said police were still investigating if Massey's robber was involved in the earlier thefts.

"I want to wring his neck," said Massey.

"It's just unacceptable. I'm sure it will change the way people feel about coming to the park."