Today’s news:

Create police rape task force: Comrie

The councilman announced Monday that he had sent a letter to Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly asking him to create a special squad to apprehend Queens rapists. Comrie said he was deeply disturbed by a rape that police say occurred Feb. 16 outside Baisley Park, where a girl was kidnapped by a fake police officer."This is a terrible crime that impacts our entire community. Unfortunately, our society has become desensitized to violence in our neighborhoods and especially with respect to violence against women," he said in a statement.On Feb. 20, police released a sketch of the unidentified suspect whom they said approached the victim at 137th Avenue and 155th Street and ordered her into his truck. He then drove her to an empty parking lot on 102nd Avenue and 185th Street where he took out a knife, raped her, threw her out of the vehicle and drove off, police said.The victim called 911 and was taken to Mary Immaculate Hospital where she was treated, according to police. A police source said investigators do not think the suspect is connected to a previous string of sexual assaults in November and DecemberThe suspect was described as a black man in his 30s, approximately 5-feet-7-inches tall and roughly 140 pounds. He was driving a late model, black pick-up truck, according to police.Although rape crimes increased 27 percent citywide this year, according to Comrie, Queens Patrol South has reported a 47 percent surge in rape crimes in southeast Queens. In the neighborhoods patrolled by the 105th Precinct, such as Queens Village, Cambria Heights, Laurelton, Rosedale, Springfield Gardens, the number of reported sexual assaults doubled from last year, the councilman said."I believe the convening of a taskforce will provide the needed resources to address this epidemic and will go a long way toward addressing the concerns of Queens' residents," he said.Anyone with any 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.

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