Abused Them In Oz. Pk., So. Oz. Pk.
Following a nearly week-long manhunt, police collared a homeless man on Tuesday night, May 7, who allegedly sexually abused two young girls in Ozone Park and South Ozone Park last Wednesday, May 1, law enforcement sources said.
He was identified by Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown as 25-year-old Lee Samuel, who was taken into custody on Tuesday by members of the NYPD Queens Special Victims Squad.
According to police, Samuel allegedly attacked the two girls, both of whom are seven-years-old, in front of residences. The approximate locations of where the assaults occurred were not disclosed by the NYPD.
Samuel was arraigned yesterday, Wednesday, May 8, in Queens Criminal Court on charges of first-degree criminal sexual act, endangering the welfare of a child and forcible touching. He faces a maximum sentence of up to 25 years behind bars if convicted of the charges.
“[Samuel] is accused of being a sexual predator,” Brown said in a statement on Tuesday. “Such an alleby gation makes him a threat to children and a clear and present danger to society in general. Such conduct, if proven true, cannot go unpunished.”
Reportedly, the first incident occurred at 2:45 p.m. last Wednesday in Ozone Park in front of a home located near the Brooklyn/Queens border.
Law enforcement sources said the suspect approached and tapped the buttocks of a seven-year-old girl as she tied her shoe on the sidewalk. The victim’s 12-year-old sister reportedly witnessed the attack and yelled at the perpetrator, who then fled from the scene on foot.
About three hours later, authorities noted, the suspect exposed himself to a seven-year-old girl in the driveway of her South Ozone Park at around 5:50 p.m. last Wednesday. The location is about two miles east of where the earlier assault took place, prosecutors noted.
Seconds after flashing himself, police said, Samuel allegedly grabbed the girl by the waist and committed a sexual act on her.
Both cases were reported to the 106th Precinct. The victim in the South Ozone Park incident was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
In the days that followed, police canvassed the surrounding area for the suspect involved. Several surveillance camera images of the suspect as well as a sketch were released. Reportedly, at one point, officers went door-to-door distributing information to residents regarding the suspect.
Joining law enforcement agents in their effort to find the suspect in the cases were City Council Member Christine Quinn and City Council Member Eric Ulrich, both of whom distributed wanted posters to residents on Monday morning, May 6, in the vicinity of 114th Street and Rockaway Boulevard in South Ozone Park.
Samuel was tracked down on Tuesday by the NYPD Queens Special Victims Squad and taken into custody following questioning.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Lucinda C. Suarez, deputy bureau chief of the DA’s Special Victims Bureau, which is supervised by Assistant District Attorney Marjory D. Fisher.