BUSHWICK — Police tracked down a man accused of repeatedly masturbating in public who they had previously refused to take reports about and arrested him Thursday for holding a 7-inch knife, officials said.
Rafael Fuller, 28, was busted near his home on Madison Street Thursday afternoon and taken to the 83rd Precinct, where he was charged with weapons possession, public lewdness and stalking stemming from his repeated harassment of a neighborhood woman.
Fuller had masturbated several times in front of Cecily Witcher, 38, who twice tried to report him but was told by police that it would be a waste of her time, she said.
Fuller, who was awaiting arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court Thursday morning, has nearly two-dozen prior arrests dating back to 2008, 14 of which are sealed. He was twice arrested for robbery and has been charged with a slew of lesser crimes, including petit larceny, trespassing and burglary, police said.
Information on Fuller's attorney wasn't available immediately.
When Witcher went to the 83 Precinct to pick him out of the lineup, she said she was nervous but steadfast.
"I kept telling myself I'm standing up for myself and the people in my neighborhood. This is not acceptable," the Uber driver said. "I didn't sit it out and accept defeat like I did previously. I've had enough.
"I will never be a victim and I just feel I have to stand up for us," she added.
Following the DNAinfo report that police were apathetic to Fuller's behavior, the 83rd Precinct's commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Sergio Centa, tweeted that his people were looking into it.
The 83 Pct. Detective squad, in conjunction with our NCOs, are actively investigating a case of Public Lewdness from Central & Putnam Ave.— NYPD 83rd Precinct (@NYPD83Pct) August 2, 2017
Centa later tweeted that they had arrested the suspect.
An arrest has been made in the Public Lewdness case following some great work by the 83 Detectives and the 83 Neighborhood Coordination POs.— NYPD 83rd Precinct (@NYPD83Pct) August 3, 2017