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3 teens confess to attacks

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At least 12 people were attacked in a spree targeting individuals walking alone in the park that began Nov. 20 and ended Christmas Day, according to information released by the police and the Queens district attorney. The precise locations of the incidents were not available, police said.Two of the suspects, Yovanni Rivera, 17, of 108-02 43rd Ave. and Marcos Polanco, 17, of 108-02 43rd Ave., were charged Saturday with attempted murder, assault and robbery, including the beating of Jae-Woo Park of Little Neck, who remains in a coma, prosecutors said.In addition, Rivera, who was known as "Nyquil," was charged in the vicious Dec. 4 slaying of Carlos Flores, 40, of Ridgewood, who was discovered the next day floating in a pond in the park with wounds caused by a machete, prosecutors said.A third suspect Herman Gonzalez, 19, of 56-52 Van Cleef St., was arraigned Saturday on robbery charges related to a Nov. 20 mugging in the park , a Queens criminal court complaint said.Rivera, originally from Guatemala, told investigators that he slashed Flores with a machete after the man resisted giving him money, court papers revealed.The victim was walking through the park when Rivera alone allegedly robbed him of $20, his identification and a MetroCard, prosecutors said. He then allegedly slashed him with the machete on his face and legs and then fatally wounded him on the back of the head, they said.Polanco, who was born in the Dominican Republic, said he took part in the robbery and attack against Park, 33, who was jogging Christmas Day at about 6:45 p.m. through the park, prosecutors said. The pair took $100, then Rivera stole Park's van and sold the seats, radio and television before he burned it, Polanco admitted in the statement. Rivera suffered second- and third-degree burns to his face as he torched the car, a source said.Park was taken to Elmhurst Medical Center where he lay in a coma unidentified until after his wife returned home from a trip overseas and discovered him missing, police said. Park's brother called the police and filed a missing person's report last Thursday, leading to his identification. Despite the arrests, community members questioned why police delayed alerting the public that muggers were attacking people in the park.Prosecutors said Polanco and Rivera were also suspects in two other muggings Dec. 2 that involved a machete, DA Richard Brown said.At about 6:30 p.m., the pair approached a 62-year-old man riding his bike in the park and allegedly hit him on the arm with the weapon, and then robbed him of cash, a cell phone and a pill case, prosecutors said.A few minutes later, they are suspected of threatening an 18-year-old with a machete, scraping it on the ground, before taking the victim's cell phone and money, they said.Reach reporter Adam Pincus by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

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