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Smith to seek state, federal help to catch serial rapists in SE Queens

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State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans) said he will give the police one week to find and apprehend two suspected serial sexual predators who have been terrorizing women in southeast Queens before he attempts to bring in additional resources from the state and federal government to take action.

Smith and a group of other leaders, including state Assemblywoman Vivian Cook (D-Jamaica), City Councilman David Weprin (D-Hollis) and the Rev. Floyd Flake of the Greater Allen AME Church, held an emergency press conference Friday in St. Albans to discuss their plan to halt the serial rapes. Police have been looking for two men who they say are responsible for at least 12 sexual assaults in Jamaica, Laurelton and St. Albans, the latest of which was reported Monday.

Smith said he will make a request to Gov. David Paterson next Friday to request state troopers and possibly even National Guard troops to come to southeast Queens to help search for the suspects if the police don’t catch them first.

“We are standing here today to make sure we have more law enforcement,” Smith said.

Police are offering a $12,000 reward for the capture of a man they described as black man between the ages of 19 and 23, 5 feet 8 inches tall, with a medium build and close-cut black hair. He has sexually assaulted four women since July 10, according to police.

The last reported incident occurred Monday at a bus stop on Sutphin Boulevard and Lakewood Avenue, police said. An unidentified woman was getting off the bus when she was grabbed by the suspect and sexually abused before she fought him off and ran to safety, according to police.

Police are offering another $12,000 reward in the capture of another man, described as black male who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and had a bandana featuring dollar bills that covered his face, in connection with eight rapes and sexual assaults in southeast Queens between Nov. 8 and July 9.

Queens Patrol Borough South Chief Tom Dale did not comment about the senator’s ultimatum but reassured the public that his team has been taking extra measures to stop the suspects. He said officers have been conducting sweep patrols of bus stops, where the first suspect has been spotted, and have been reaching out to the community for help.

“This is discussed every day on roll call,” Dale said of the serial assaults.

Anyone with information is urged to call Crimestoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). All calls will be kept confidential.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

Posted 6:38 pm, October 10, 2011
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