By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Police have arrested a second suspect who was wanted for a robbery that took place in Asser Levy Park in the pre-dawn hours of a late September morning last year. In addition to hitting the victim multiple times and stabbing him in the head, police said that the suspect who was arrested last week also forced the victim to remove his clothes and put on a dress.
The 25-year-old man was arrested for the September 30 robbery on Monday, February 24 inside the 13th precinct.
The victim, a 47-year-old Bronx resident, told police that he was walking near the park on East 23rd Street and Avenue C around 4 a.m. when the previously-arrested suspect, a 24-year-old man, grabbed him and pulled him behind the park. The victim said that the two suspects menaced him with a knife before taking his wallet and phone.
The 25-year-old suspect also demanded the PIN for the victim’s credit cards while holding a boxcutter and hit the victim several times, stabbed him in the head with the boxcutter and threatened to kill him if he didn’t provide the PIN for the cards. He said that the suspect also forced him to remove his clothes and put on a dress.
The two men reportedly searched the victim further and kept him inside the park against his will, before fleeing the scene in an unknown direction.
Police said that the victim had injuries to his face after one of the suspects punched, kicked and pushed him.
The first suspect, who police said is homeless, was caught near the scene of the crime later on the same day of the incident after the victim returned to the area with an NYPD detective and the victim recognized him while he was standing in front of the Asser Levy Recreation Center at 392 Asser Levy Place.
After the incident, police released surveillance video and photos from inside the 7-Eleven at 333 East 23rd Street that were taken shortly after the robbery, depicting the man who was ultimately arrested last week.
In addition to being charged with robbery, the 25-year-old man was also charged with assault, grand larceny, kidnapping and possession of stolen property. Police did not have further information about whether this suspect was also homeless.
Police said that the suspect arrested in September was in possession of the victim’s money order and he was charged with robbery and kidnapping.