40-year-old arrested in connection to string of violent spa robberies, sex assault in Queens: police

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Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Queens man arrested after string of violent spa robberies: police
CeFaan Kim has the latest on the spa robberies.

RICHMOND HILL, Queens (WABC) -- Police have arrested a man in connection to a string of spa robberies in Queens.

Shahab Usman, 40, was arrested Tuesday on a number of charges, including attempted murder, rape, robbery, and assault.

Officials say this arrest comes after there were at least four incidents going back to November where a suspect or two suspects entered the spas, displayed a gun and left with cash.

In one case, police say a suspect pistol whipped an employee, in another case a man was shot, and in the most recent case a woman was sexually assaulted with a gun to her head.

The first incident was reported just after 11 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 26, when two men walked into a spa at 185-09 Jamaica Ave. with a gun and knife and demanded cash. The suspects stole three phones and approximately $5,000 is cash. No injuries were reported.

The next incident happened Saturday, Dec. 2, just after 7:30 p.m. Police say a man walked into a spa at 113-19 Liberty Ave. and showed a gun while demanding property and cash from a 57-year-old woman inside. As she tried to get away, police say the suspect threw her to the ground and struck her in the face with his weapon before taking her phone and $700 cash.

The woman was taken to the hospital with injuries to her face and leg.

Police believe the same suspect or suspects are connected to a robbery just after 8:30 p.m. that same day, Dec. 2. They say a man walked into a spa at 123-21 Jamaica Ave. and showed a gun while demanding cash and property from a 45-year-old woman. When the victim said she had no cash, the suspect tried to sexually assault her, police say.

Authorities say the suspect fired a gunshot which struck a 52-year-old man in the abdomen in an adjacent room. That victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Nothing was taken in that incident.

In a fourth incident on Monday, Dec. 4, police say a man entered a spa at 112-21 Jamaica Ave. and showed a gun while demanding a 50-year-old woman take him into a private room. Police say once inside the room, he put the gun to her head and sexually assaulted her.

Before he got away, he took $190 from that victim and an unknown amount of cash from two other women.

The NYPD's Hate Crime Task Force has been notified because all the spas are Asian-owned and operated, but police have deemed the incidents as crimes of opportunity.

Police are still searching for the second suspect.

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