Video released of Riverside Park suspect

July 10, 2010 6:36:06 AM PDT
Police have released surveillance video of a person they say fits the description of the suspect who assaulted two women in Riverside Park. The video was captured about an hour after the attacks by a camera near the park.

A handful of people took an evening stroll on a well lit trail in Riverside Park Friday night.

Punctuated by lamposts, it provides and equal sense of security as it does beauty.

That's until you see the picture released by police of a man, they say, heartlessly attacked two women within 20 minutes early Monday morning.

"It's pretty shocking, I go walking in Riverside Park all the time. I've always thought it was pretty safe, it's disturbing," said Subhashaimi Kaligotla, a Columbia University Ph.D Candidate.

The first victim was a 19-year-old Barnard College student who was jogging on a path near W. 120th Street.

That's when she was approached from behind.

He smashed her head into a wall so hard she was knocked unconscious.

He stole her iPod.

Twenty minutes later, and 22 blocks south, a 48-year-old woman was walking her dog.

That's when a man grabbed her from behind near 98th Street, threw her to the ground and then punched her.

"I think that's terrible that it something like that happened so close by," said Rhada Parameswaran, a Rising Barnard College Senior.

Some Barnard College students still went on their evening jog, but say they changed it up a bit, by running with friends.

The suspect is described as a black man in his 20's, around 5'8", with a think build and black hair. He was last seen wearing blue shorts with blue and white boxer underwear.

Anyone who may have been in the area or has any information regarding this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).