By Courtney Dentch
Police were searching for an armed rapist who assaulted at least three middle-aged women in Hollis in early morning attacks in April.
The man, described as about 25 years old and 5 feet tall, is wanted in connection with the gunpoint rapes of two women and the attempted rape of a third in attacks in the 103rd Precinct, said Deputy Inspector Susan Morley, commanding officer of the Special Victims Division.
DNA evidence also linked the man to a fourth rape case that has gone unsolved since 1998.
In the first of the recent attacks, the man approached a 57-year-old woman as she waited for a bus at 193rd Street and Jamaica Avenue in Hollis at 5:45 a.m. April 7, Morley said. The man, armed with a handgun, took the woman to a nearby stairwell and raped, sodomized and robbed her, Morley said.
About two weeks later, the man, who was missing a front tooth and wearing a black jacket with a hood and black jeans, attempted to assault a 61-year-old woman just before 6 a.m. April 23. As he tried to drag his victim to an isolated driveway near the corner of Liberty Avenue and 187th Street, also in Hollis, she yelled for help and scared him off, Morley said.
The rapist struck again about 5:15 a.m. Friday, assaulting a woman, 60, while she waited for a bus at the intersection of Liberty and Camden avenues in Hollis. The man took the woman to an isolated place and raped and robbed her, according to Morley.
Evidence from one of the assaults matched DNA taken from a rape case in 1998, where the woman, 46, was assaulted near 102nd Avenue and 186th Street in Hollis, Morley said.
A $2,000 reward is being offered. Anyone with information should call the Police Department's confidential tip hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.
In an unrelated sex attack in the 103rd Precinct, a woman was raped by a man armed with a screwdriver as she returned to her home on April 20 at 2:30 p.m., police said. No arrests were made.
The spate of attacks has not altered the precinct's crime rates for the year, according to police statistics. The precinct, based in downtown Jamaica, reported 11 rapes in both 2002 and 2003 as of April 20, the statistics showed. But there was a 50 percent jump in the 28-day tally through April 20 with three rapes reported – one more than the two reported this time last year.
Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at [email protected], or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.