NYC rape suspect nabbed as cops and citizens team up
A man whose alleged rape attempt of a woman outside a New York City subway was filmed by shocked bystanders has been arrested after a facial recognition software identified him, and tips from Crime Stoppers located him for police.
Jose Reyes, 31, “faces charges of attempted rape and assault,” says ABC7NY.
He has 15 previous charges, “including robbery, assault on an officer, grand larceny and other crimes,” but no previous record of sex crimes, says SILive.com.
The victim was riding on the same subway car with Reyes while he appeared to be taking drugs of some sort.
“Mr. Reyes gestured in a masturbation motion towards her, and the [victim], in an attempt to avoid him, moved in a different direction,” said NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison according to the New York Daily News. “Mr. Reyes follows her, which resulted in him assaulting her, punching her, pushing her to the ground, climbing on top of her and attempting to spread her legs.”
One bystander began to video the assault, while also calling on Reyes to stop, as other bystanders began to gather. Some have criticized the bystanders for not intervening but police say they helped stop the alleged attempted rape.
“This heinous and horrendous act was interrupted by a good Samaritan who observed Mr. Reyes’ behavior and got him to cease his behavior while subsequently videotaping the incident,” Harrison said.
The video went viral and police asked for help in identifying the suspect.
“We need the people’s help,” Harrison said on Sunday. “It’s important that everybody understands, in order for us to be successful, in order for us to stop the violence — we have to work together,” said SILive.com.
A previous mugshot matched with the face in the video, helping to identify the Reyes.
“Three civilians called in Crime Stoppers tips after seeing the video, leading cops to find Reyes hanging out in East Harlem on 105th St. and Lexington Ave. about 12:30 p.m. Sunday,” said the New York Daily News.
Harrison said that the attack was random and the victim and Reyes did not know each other.
“He appeared to be smoking some type of hookah and making weird noises and laughing to himself,” said Harrison.
The New York Detectives’ Endowment Association blasted politicos in the city for continued hostility to police and lauded the quick detective work that got Reyes off the streets.
“Jose Reyes was arrested less than 24 hours after attempting to rape a woman on a subway platform,” the NYDEA tweeted. “@NYPDSVU Detectives worked tirelessly to find him while the elected officials who say there’s a slow down were tucked tightly in their beds. WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO MAKE NYC SAFE!?”
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