Meet the NYPD detective who drew sketch to help capture Queens rape suspect

Josh Einiger Image
Saturday, June 22, 2024
Meet the NYPD detective who drew sketch to help capture Queens rape suspect
Josh Einiger has more from Queens.

FLUSHING, Queens (WABC) -- Jason Harvey is a veteran cop, but his weapon is loaded with a different kind of lead.

Harvey is one of two detectives who generate sketches of suspects - and of thousands he has drawn in his career - there was one in particular that meant the most to a father of two in Queens.

Last week, he sat at a table in his office in police headquarters with the 13-year-old girl ruthlessly raped by a man in Kissena Park. There were no cameras - just the girl and her friend, who, standing over the shoulder of this veteran detective, turned their description into the image that broke the case.

"She was very good with her description, and she made adjustments. She was involved in the process, which is always helpful to stand over my shoulder and point to me and say 'this needs to be different, this should be more like this," Harvey said.

That was last Friday night. Teams of detectives plastered the neighborhood with the sketch - along with the image of the unique boar tattoo she actually sketched herself.

An uneasy weekend would pass, and then the suspect was taken into custody. The resemblance was striking.

For Harvey, a modest member of the service - a father himself - it was a huge win. He was an artist before he became a cop 25 years ago. After years on patrol in Harlem, he returned to art to solve crimes. He has produced thousands of sketches, though these days, with cameras everywhere, business is slow.

"If you wanted to know what the bad guy looked like when I got here, this was the only way, because there was no video," he said.

However, there was no video in Kissena Park - just Detective Harvey and his pencils, and a very brave girl who participated in the capture of the man who changed her life.

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