Four teenage suspects are in custody in a particularly horrifying gang rape in Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood. An 18-year-old woman was walking in a playground with her father Thursday night when she was attacked by five people. A nearby deli owner told WNBC he refused to let her father use the phone to call for help.
The rape set off a particularly intense wave of anger and fear: the suspects first pointed a gun at the woman’s father and made him leave the park before each raping the young woman. They ran away when the father returned with two police officers. All five were seen on a surveillance video, above, in a nearby bodega. Four of the suspects are in custody as of Monday morning: two of the teenagers, aged 14 and 15, were turned in to the police by their parents, while the other two, 15 and 17, were located and arrested. One is still at large; his age has not been released.
Both Mayor Bill de Blasio and Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams released statements denouncing the attack. Adams suggested, too, that the NYPD was slow to respond, and questioned why it took two days for them to issue a community alert about the rape: “Something is not right,” he said, per the Daily News. “The community needs to be notified immediately when we have such a savage attack with a handgun and a rape.”
Community residents told the New York Times the park was poorly lit, with the lights frequently out entirely at night.
A deli clerk told NBC New York’s Ray Villeda that the father had begged to use the phone to call the police, and he’d refused: “He was acting like he was drunk.” NBC also filmed themselves knocking on the door of the young woman’s family apartment; a family member told them through the door that she is “all right.”