2 arrests made so far after string of muggings in Central Park

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Tuesday, April 30, 2024
2 arrests made so far in string of muggings in Central Park
Lindsay Tuchman has more from Central Park on the crime increase.

CENTRAL PARK, Manhattan (WABC) -- Two arrests have been made following a string of at least five muggings in Central Park over the last week.

Police announced Tuesday morning that 35-year-old Kevin Taylor of the Bronx was arrested for allegedly robbing and attacking a 28-year-old woman last Thursday.

The woman was walking on West 96th and West Drive when she was grabbed and punched. Taylor was charged with robbery, assault and harassment.

"This bad guy approached a female, grabbed her by the arm and said essentially, I'm going to take sex, I'm going to take money and I'm going to take your phone, nine arrests on this individuals sheets and what we've been hearing far too often, on parole until 2028," Assistant Chief Jason Savino said.

Authorities also discussed an arrest in the park on Monday morning after the suspect grabbed a tourist's phone and threw it into a pond. Officials say the 35-year-old woman was walking near Fifth Avenue and East 60th Street at around 10 a.m.

Police were able to find and arrest the suspect, 42-year-old Fontaine Moise, who was charged with grand larceny.

The other three incidents happened on Friday and Saturday and no arrests have been made in those cases.

On Saturday, police say a person came up to a 46-year-old man and took his bag with camera equipment worth between $2,000-$3,000.

On Friday around 6:15 a.m. Police say their investigation revealed three people came up to a 41-year-old man while he was taking pictures of the lake.

One person pulled out a gun and put it to the victim's head. Then, the other two punched the victim in the face, taking his cell phone and wallet, before getting away on mopeds.

Police believe that incident is part of a larger pattern in Queens and Manhattan where suspects use scooters and mopeds to get away.

Later, around 9:40 p.m. at 109 East Drive, police say two people approached a 25-year-old man from behind. They tried to grab his phone from him.

Eyewitness News spoke to the victim on Sunday. Ashikur Chowdury changed the dynamic, charging after them. One of the two people behind the incident pulled out a gun and tried to grab his phone.

"A lot of people call it brave but I personally see it as reckless and irresponsible. I should've just given him my phone and not taken the risk," Chowdury said.

On Monday, NYPD ramped up patrols in the park after the string of violent muggings and said they will increase camera surveillance as well.

The NYPD says there have been 18 robberies within Central Park so far this year compared to just four this same time last year and 12 grand larcenies compared to eight by this time in 2023.

Police say people should feel safe - but if you see something, do not hesitate to call 911.

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