By Robert Pozarycki
Detectives have arrested a Bronx man who allegedly attempted to rape a woman at a Upper East Side subway station on Saturday, only to be stopped when a group of passengers intervened.
Jose Reyes, a Bronx resident, was picked up by members of the 23rd Precinct at 12:29 p.m. on Aug. 30 at the corner of Lexington Avenue and East 105th Street in East Harlem, according to Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison.
Three tips to the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline proved instrumental in helping police locate Reyes, Harrison said during a press conference Sunday afternoon. He also touted the use of the NYPD’s facial recognition program, which matched an image of Reyes’ face on the video to his mugshot from a prior criminal mischief arrest.
Law enforcement sources said the attempted sex assault happened at 11 a.m. on Aug. 29 at the Lexington Avenue-63rd Street station.
According to Harrison, the 25-year-old female victim had originally encountered Reyes while on board an F train prior to its arrival at Lexington Avenue-63rd Street. The chief said Reyes allegedly acted in a disturbing manner, including laughing at himself and making weird noises, while looking at the victim.
Upon arriving at Lexington Avenue-63rd Street, both the victim and Reyes departed the train. Harrison said Reyes then began following the victim as she moved down the platform, eventually catching up with her and going on the attack.
Reyes allegedly punched the woman in the face, then knocked her to the ground, climbed on top of her and attempted to rape her.
But other passengers nearby began forming a crowd; some began screaming at Reyes to stop, Harrison said. One of the individuals pulled out their cellphone and recorded the suspect, while on top of the victim, being startled.
“Some good Samaritans pulled out the cellphones to video his face, which was very informational,” the chief said. “A couple of them started screaming at him to get off her, which was helpful in scaring him away.”
The incident was reported to the 19th Precinct and the NYPD Transit Bureau. Cops said the victim suffered minor injuries, but refused medical attention at the scene.
On the morning of Aug. 30, the NYPD released video footage of Reyes. Upon receiving tips from the Crime Stoppers hotline, and confirmation through the facial recognition program, the 23rd Precinct moved to pick up Reyes in East Harlem Sunday afternoon.
Harrison said Reyes was taken without further incident and brought to the 23rd Precinct for questioning. The suspect allegedly admitted to detectives that he committed the crime, and was found to have narcotics in his possession, the chief noted.
“It’s a heinous act,” Harrison said of the crime. “It’s horrible but I have to commend the great work by Special Victims, our Facial Recognition Unit, our technology which sometimes gets challenged. In a quick manner, we got the information out to the people on patrol and to bring him into custody. It’s a great team effort getting a very bad individual off the streets.”
This story was updated on Aug. 30 at 4:15 p.m.