By Carol Tannenhauser
A suspect was arrested on Saturday for the Thursday rape of a woman jogger in Central Park, the NYPD reported.
Paulie Velez, 25, who police say is homeless, “was grabbed…by police after they got a Crime Stoppers tip about his location, officials said,” according to the Daily News.
Fantastic investigative work by Sergeant Ivan Rodriguez, Sergeant Jonathan Cruz, and Detective Peter Lumia from @NYPDSVU for apprehending Paulie Velez who was wanted for a rape in Central Park that occurred this past Thursday. pic.twitter.com/q1oc7pBvw3
— Chief Rodney Harrison (@NYPDChiefOfDept) November 13, 2021
Velez was charged with Rape, Robbery, Strangulation, Assault, Sex Abuse, and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, police said. It is alleged that he came up behind the 27-year-old woman, on a footpath near Wollman Rink, around 63rd Street, put her in a chokehold until she passed out, then raped her, and stole her cellphone. The victim was transported to an area hospital in stable condition.
“After the assault, Velez jumped on the subway at 59th St. and Fifth Ave. and headed downtown, the surveillance showed,” according to the Daily News, which also reported that, “As of Nov. 7, there have been seven rapes in [Central Park] this year compared with two in all of 2020, police department data shows….In the wake of the horrific attack, the NYPD promised increased patrols in the park.”