Watch CBS News

Manhunt continues 48 hours after 13-year-old girl sexually assaulted at NYC park, police say

NYPD increases patrols at Queens park after sexual assault
NYPD increases patrols at Queens park after sexual assault 01:54

NEW YORK -- New York City police have launched an all-out manhunt for a man who allegedly tied up a boy and girl at Kissena Park in Queens and sexually assaulted one of them

The man reportedly told the children, both 13, to follow him into the woods at the park in Flushing just after they left school Thursday. 

They refused, but he threatened them with "a large, machete-style knife," police said at a press conference Friday

"As a father, a member of this department for many years, this incident is a parent's nightmare," said NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey. 

Suspect tied children's wrists with shoelace, police say

The man made the children go with him to a secluded area of the park, where he tied their wrists with a shoelace and then sexually assaulted the girl, police said. 

"The children were forced at knifepoint to follow him into a secluded area in the park where he tied the boy's and girl's hands together with a shoelace. The perpetrator then sexually assaulted the 13-year-old girl," said NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny. 

A sketch of a man wanted in connection to a sexual assault.
New York City police have launched an all-out manhunt for a man who allegedly tied up a boy and girl at Kissena Park in Queens and sexually assaulted one of them.  NYPD Crime Stoppers

Suspect stole children's cellphones, police say

Police said the children, who are now said to be recovering, returned to school after the incident and told a staff member what happened.

"The perpetrator told both victims to wait at the location for 20 minutes while he fled the location on foot after robbing both children of their cellphones," said Kenny. 

"These kids were doing what they were supposed to be doing -- they were playing after school," said Emily Miles, of the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault. "You see a coming together of the community around this family and this survivor in a way I think is actually going to be incredibly healing for them."

NYPD searching for surveillance video of suspect

Once called to the scene, investigators said they found a shoelace and water bottle that the suspect may have left behind.   

Police have been searching for surveillance video of the suspect. 

"We will leave no stone unturned until we bring this monster into justice," said NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Operations Kaz Daughtry. 

"We will pull many officers to this area to help ease fears, watch this park," said NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell. 

A sketch of a furry board head with its mouth open and red eyes.
New York City police say this sketch resembles a tattoo that a sexual assault suspect has on his chest. NYPD Crime Stoppers

The NYPD says it's poring over lists of registered sex offenders in the area, as well as robbery and sexual assault patterns in the precinct, trying to find a lead.

Police release sketch of suspect

The suspect was described as a male in his 20s, with curly hair, braces on his teeth, and a tattoo of an animal with red eyes and a horn on his chest.

The NYPD has released sketches of the man and his tattoo.

Drone teams have now been deployed around the park, and the NYPD says it will install small-scale cameras in the area.

"We need to think about long-term measures to keep people safe, and the surveillance cameras can do exactly that," Sen. John Liu said.

Police offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. 

Anyone with any information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or via DM on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, you can find a list of resources through the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.