Detectives collared a Richmond Hill man believed to be connected to a series of sexual assaults of women inside of Forest Park several years ago, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce announced on Thursday.
Mark Andrade, 46, of 91st Avenue was picked upon on Aug. 2 for the March 29, 2013 attack of a 24-year-old woman jogging through the park in the area of Myrtle Avenue and Forest Park Drive.
Additional charges against Andrade, however, are pending, as detectives investigate a possible link to five similar sexual assaults in Forest Hills between March of 2011 and August of 2013. In several of the incidents, as amNewYork reported, the perpetrator attacked the victims with a stun gun before sexually assaulting them.
The victims in the pattern range in age from as young as 13 to as old as 69, police noted. All of the victims were jogging on the Forest Park bridal paths before they were attacked, Boyce said.
According to Boyce — who announced the arrest during an Aug. 3 press conference at One Police Plaza — detectives were able to arrest Andrade after forensic investigators matched his DNA earlier this week to a genetic sample found on a beer bottle recovered from the crime scene after the March 29, 2013 assault.
In that attack, law enforcement sources said, Andrade allegedly approached the female victim and zapped her with a stun gun numerous times, then sexually assaulted her before fleeing the scene.
“This one young lady struggled with him and actually pulled a beer bottle out of his pocket and threw it,” Boyce said. “We retrieved it, swabbed it” and recovered the suspect’s DNA.
Boyce said that Andrade has six prior arrests, none of which were sex crimes; he pointed out that none of arrests were serious enough to have required Andrade to provide a DNA sample to the state criminal databank. However, Andrade submitted a sample after being charged with grand larceny in Nassau County.
Andrade was charged on Aug. 3 with attempted rape, robbery, assault, predatory sexual assault, sex abuse and criminal possession of a weapon.
“We hope to add on more [charges] as we go forward” with the investigation, Boyce added.