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Man Gropes Sunbather in Carl Schurz Park, Police Say

By Shaye Weaver | July 7, 2016 7:00pm

YORKVILLE — A man who grabbed a woman's butt while she was sunbathing in Carl Schurz Park was arrested by an off-duty officer who was reading nearby and heard screams, police said.

Thomas Cronin, 53, rode up on a bicycle to a 45-year-old woman who was sunbathing face-down on a blanket in the park and grabbed her behind on Wednesday, and fled, police said.

Police Officer Eric Sullivan, who was off-duty and reading a book in the park, heard the woman scream and yell "pervert" at about 2:44 p.m., and called for back up, police said.

When officers Julian Febres and Christopher Bobell of the 23rd Precinct anti-crime unit arrived, they were able to track Cronin down across the street from 520 E. 90th St., between York and East End avenues, police said.

Cronin had been wanted for questioning in connection to a string of burglaries in Manhattan, according to authorities.

He was charged with sex abuse, forcible touching and 11 counts of burglary, authorities say.

Cronin committed 11 commercial burglaries, snatching money from registers at stores including coffee shops and bakeries in TriBeCa, Midtown and the Upper East Side, police said.

He was not arraigned as of Thursday afternoon, according to the Manhattan District Attorney's office.

Cronin has a long rap sheet going back to 1981, with charges including stalking, grand larceny, criminal mischief, criminal possession of a controlled substance and fare evasion, police said.