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Bayside man arrested in attack

Police converge on the Cross Island Parkway service road after a man allegedly attempted to rape a 33-year-old woman in the thick foliage on the side of the busy thoroughfare. Police released a sketch of their suspect [inset], which led to the arrest of Kenneth King of Bayside. Photo by Ellis Kaplan/Inset courtesy NYPD
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A community-wide manhunt came to an end Friday with the arrest of a Bayside man in connection with the attempted rape of a woman in Whitestone last week.

Police arrested and charged Kenneth King, 41, with one count of attempted rape and one count of attempted sexual abuse.

On the morning of Aug. 28, King allegedly grabbed a 33-year-old Asian woman and forced her into the brush beside the northbound Cross Island Parkway service road near 148th Street, according to police. He was allegedly attempting to sexually assault her when U.S. Marine veteran Brian Teichman stepped in and stopped the attack, but was able to escape the scene and was on the loose for about two days.

On Friday, the combined efforts of the community, the 109th Precinct and the NYPD’s Queens Special Victims Squad resulted in King’s arrest, which resulted from a concerted search that featured wanted signs posted on telephone poles and tips from a number of area residents.

“We’ve gotten a lot of pictures from people in the community that look a lot like him,” 109th Precinct Deputy Inspector Brian Maguire told a concerned business owner in Whitestone last Thursday afternoon.

On Wednesday, Teichman, who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was in the living room of Dawn Ottaviano, a baby-sitter who was set to watch his 2-year-old daughter for the day, when Ottaviano saw a man and woman running across the Cross Island Parkway service road in front of her home near the intersection of 148th Street.

Ottaviano said that after she pointed the pair out to Teichman at about 8:50 a.m., they noticed that the man seemed to be dragging the woman against her will. They watched in horror as he allegedly proceeded to push her over the guardrail into a heavily wooded area, then follow her into the thicket, at which point Teichman sprang into action.

“Bryan said, ‘Oh, no,’ and ran over there, then jumped on top of the railing and was screaming and cursing at him, ‘Get the hell off of her,’” Ottaviano said. “By then [the attacker] already had his hand over her mouth and her face and he was trying to tear her jacket off. She was covered in dirt, but he didn’t have time to do anything else.”

Upon hearing Teichman’s bellowing voice, the attacker allegedly jumped off his victim, who police described as an Asian-American woman, and fled down the hill toward the parkway.

Police said they were unable to locate the suspect despite an extensive ground and air search, and that he remained on the loose until his Friday arrest.

Joan Barry lives several doors down from Ottaviano. She said she was shocked by the brazenness of the crime and that it made her worried about the safety of the usually quiet neighborhood.

“My granddaughter passes by this place every morning on the way to St. Francis Prep. All of us, we feel bad because a lot of girls walk this way,” Barry said last Thursday morning.

Ottaviano said the corner was one of several in the area where Asian-American women gather to wait for vans to pick them up to carpool to work each morning.

“There’s more than one lady that waits here, and they’re all very petite and he probably noticed them standing there,” she said. “This guy attacked a woman in broad daylight in the middle of a busy street. Thank God she’s OK. My greatest fear is what if we hadn’t seen it, and a couple of days from now they were pulling out a body?”

Kenneth King, of 42-32 201st St., is scheduled to return to court Oct. 17.

Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.

Updated 6:58 pm, October 6, 2011
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