NEW YORK — Police are on the hunt for a man they said attacked a tourist in Central Park in the middle of the afternoon earlier this week.
Police said the attack happened around 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
The 22-year-old victim was near West Drive and Transverse Road Number One when the man sexually abused her.
Investigators said the victim was alone when the man approached her and started a conversation, TV-10/55’s Ilana Gold reported. A few minutes later, he allegedly touched her inappropriately and ran off.
Police said the victim left the park immediately, went to her hotel and reported the incident to authorities, Gold reported.
The incident left many parkgoers concerned.
“That’s creepy, we didn’t know it,” said tourist Aura Desmet.
“It saddens me, I’ve been a native New Yorker my whole life,” said Lori Quigley of Rockland County. “I love the city, I love Central Park you hate to hear things like that… You don’t want visitors and people in the city from being dissuaded from going into Central Park.”
Overall crime in Central Park has gone up 10 percent this year, compared to the same time last year. Sixty-six incidents, including robberies, rapes and grand larcenies, have been investigated.
The NYPD has stepped up patrols this summer, and the Guardian Angles are back in the park for the first time in 20 years.
The suspect was last seen running through the park. Cameras captured him walking near the West Side with a blue and white cap, red tank top and shorts right after the alleged attack.
Police said the investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). You can also submit a tip by logging onto Crime Stoppers website or text a tip to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577.