Man suspected of lewd act also being questioned in Inwood park attacks

INWOOD, Manhattan (WABC) -- A man in custody who is suspected of public lewdness will also be questioned to see if there is any connection to three attacks at a nearby park.

The suspect walked into Amber Medical Spa on 232 Sherman Avenue at around 5:45 p.m. Wednesday and was told to leave.

He then returned, exposed himself and "desecrated the front door."

Charges against him are pending in that incident, but because it happened close to Inwood Hill Park, detectives are looking into the man's possible connection to those attacks.

Right now police say he is not connected to the three incidents in Inwood Hill Park, but an interview will eventually determine if he is or not.

On Wednesday, three women reported being either threated or attacked within about an hour of each other.

One of those victims, who was walking her dog at the time, may have been sexually assaulted. She was also struck over the head with a branch and knocked unconscious.

The suspect threatened another woman with a dog and punched a third woman before taking her phone and watch.

As each day goes by, safety concerns are rising.

Neighbors held a rally Friday night to raise awareness about Wednesday's attacks in the park.

Police and park officers have been patrolling for the last two days and a reward is being offered for any information on the assault patterns, but neighbors want more.

"It's really important we stand up as a community to fight this," Emma Goldman Sherman said. "I'm with my neighbors every single morning in this park, all of us come to the field to play with our dog and have a great time, and that's not going to stop, this person is not going to stop us."

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