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Search intensifies for man accused of raping 13-year-old girl in Queens park, $10,000 reward offered

NYPD releases photo of man wanted in Kissena Park sex assault
NYPD releases photo of man wanted in Kissena Park sex assault 01:33

Update 6/18: Police say a person of interest was taken into custody in the case. Read more here.

NEW YORK -- The search has intensified for the man who police say sexually assaulted a 13-year old girl in a Queens park last week.

On Monday night, the NYPD released the first images of the man it says it is looking for and offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Investigators say no tip is too small.

Police are looking for this man in a shocking crime that happened on June 13 in Queens. NYPD

Officers were handing out new flyers with the suspect's picture on it, hoping someone recognizes him. Police say he raped the girl in Kissena Park after school on Thursday.

Detectives say the suspect forced the teen and her classmate -- a 13-year-old boy -- into a wooded area and tied them up with shoelaces before committing the disturbing crime. They add he also took their cellphones and left behind a shoelace and water bottle that forensic teams are still analyzing.

"He should not be free to do this again," local resident Mikki Alvarez said. "He's a vicious human being."

Calls for more police and cameras at Kissena Park

Kissena Park was nearly empty on Monday night, likely due to the news of the crime.

"It's shocking. This park is usually packed. Parents use this as a holding ground for kids to be picked up," resident Bernard Chow said.

"People scared right now. No one bringing their kids outside and it's sad," neighborhood resident Shah G. said.

The park was mostly empty, even though there was an NYPD mobile command center parked out front.

"There was no camera there and random people coming in this area right now," Shah G. said.

Community leaders also gathered Monday night, calling for more police presence and cameras in the area, and officers handed out flyers in different languages, hoping for that one tip that will lead them to the suspect and put the quiet community back at ease.

"We want the community to come into the park. If you eliminate all of the abandoned parts of the park, you eliminate all the crime," said John Kelly of Eastern Queens Greenway.

CBS New York has learned cameras will be going up in and around the park, but it's still unclear when that will happen.

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.

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