MANHATTAN — Investigators want to question a sex offender with a history of attacking strangers in connection to three recent assaults in Harlem — including a German tourist who was beaten, groped and robbed as she lay on the sidewalk next to a heap of trash, officials said Monday.
Keon Robinson, 28, was described as a person of interest in the attacks on April 24, April 27 and May 4, according to police.
Investigators had arrested a 28-year-old Bronx man on Friday, but released him when they determined he had nothing to do with the attacks, an NYPD spokesman said Monday morning.
In the first instance, at about 4 a.m. on April 24, the suspect came up behind a 35-year-old woman, saying "I have a gun. Just give me your bag," before snatching her purse near near West 145th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue, according to the NYPD's Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce.
"At which point, she screams. She is punched, at that point, by the perpetrator, Boyce said.
He then reached into her pants and groped her before fleeing and later used her credit card at what appears to be a Home Depot, where investigators recovered surveillance footage of him.
Robinson, who lives in the Breevort Houses in Bed-Stuy, mugged a 24-year-old man in front of 701 139th St. on April 27, warning, "I will not hurt you if you give me your money, according to police.
He also attacked a 31-year-old German tourist at 2:50 a.m. on May 4 as she left a subway station near West 149th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue and walked to her Airbnb, officials said.
"[He] said the same exact thing: 'I have a gun. Give me your bag,'" Boyce said.
The suspect can be seen in a video released by police wrapping his arms around her, grabbing her bag and then punching her in the face when she tries to take it back. He continues to punch her and then sexually assaulted her as she lay on the ground next to a pile of trash.
Police followed a blood trail and surveillance video showing him going into a 147th Street building where an acquaintance lives. They have DNA from blood found in the elevator of the building and investigators are currently analyzing the sample it to see if it matches samples he was forced to submit as a sex offender.
WARNING: Graphic Video
Robinson, who lives on West 147th Street near where the attacks occurred, has been arrested three times since December 2006, though records for his December 2006 arrest are sealed, according to records and an NYPD spokesman.
He was arrested again in December 2007 for sexually assaulting and robbing a woman he didn't know under threat of violence, records show. He was convicted in March 2008 and spent the next eight years behind bars, prison records show.
Robinson was released in March 2016, but arrested that August for parole violation, police and prison officials said.
Robinson, who's listed in the state's sex offender registry, has a scar near his right eyebrow and a tattoo on his left forearm, records show.
Police said Robinson spends time in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).