4-year-old girl sexually assaulted in Queens McDonald's

August 8, 2013 2:56:50 AM PDT
NYPD Detectives are investigating whether a man who sexually assaulted a girl at McDonald's earlier this week may have done it before at the same location back in March.

Tuesday's incident happened around 8:30 p.m. inside the play area at the restaurant at 181-25 Hillside Avenue in Jamaica.

The 4-year-old victim in Tuesday's attack was with her mother and younger brother at the McDonald's. The girl and her brother were playing in the Play Palace.

Police say the suspect hid inside a tubular play structure in the play area. The mother could not see the suspect because he was lying on his back and blocked by the tubular slide.

The girl started climbing up the staircase leading up to the tubular side. Investigators say the man assaulted her inside the tube.

The girl slid down the slide to get away, then ran to her mother and told her what happened. The mother attempted to notify a McDonald's security guard, who she claims did not immediately respond.

Authorities say the mother ran after the suspect and grabbed him by the shirt, but he wiggled free and ran across Hillside Avenue to get away.

The mother called 911 for help, and officers from the 107 precinct responded.

The girl was taken to Queens Hospital center for treatment.

Detectives believe the suspect was loitering inside the McDonald's for nearly two hours before the attack. He was seen on surveillance video talking to at least one other customer.

They are also looking into whether the suspect may be the same man wanted for a sexual assault on March 9. In that case, the suspect asked a nine year old girl to sit on his lap and play a video game in the same Play Palace area. Police say he groped her while telling her she was beautiful.

And Eyewitness News has learned exclusively of yet another incident in April.

"When I saw the picture this morning, I thought, 'Oh my God, that's the same guy!'" said Ana Latony-Ramirez, the victim's mother.

Ana Latony-Ramirez told Eyewitness News her 4-year-old daughter, Alana was in the McDonald's playground when she was accosted by a man who looks exactly like the man in the video.

"I guess he was trying to lure her in that way, try to get her attention to come in," Latony-Ramirez said.

Alana immediately ran away she said, and the man disappeared. Ana admitted she never reported the encounter to police.

"I have like anger, you know, because if I just would have said something this search would have been done earlier," Latony-Ramirez said.

The suspect in Tuesday's incident is described as a male with a medium skinned complexion, approximately 18 to 30 years old. He was wearing a brown or dark purple short sleeved Polo shirt, faded black or dark blue jeans, white sneakers and had a bandage or lump on his forehead.

Anyone with information in regards is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).