Monday, May 08, 2006

WARNING: Sexual Predator Targetting the Lakewood, NJ and Borough Park (Brooklyn), NY Orthodox Community

Also see: The Case of the Unnamed Lakewood Rapist

Woman Abducted And Assaulted In Parking Lot
by Christine Sloan
WCBS TV New York
May 8, 2006

(CBS) LAKEWOOD, N.J. Investigators say a 20-year-old woman, who is a member of the Jewish Orthodox community, was abducted from a parking lot last night after leaving the Trim Gym in Lakewood, where she had finished working out.

“The victim was confirmed to have been sexually assaulted,” said Captain Robert Lawson, who is with the Lakewood Police Department.

“She's a sweetheart, a sweetheart and nice, unassuming, fine girl,” said a woman, who knows the victim.

Police, who have stepped up patrols at the shopping center where the gym is located, say the suspect dropped the woman off back at the parking lot early this morning.

This is what a friend, who doesn't want to be identified, says about how the woman got back.

“She just walked with her hands tied and her eyes were covered,” she said.

“I walk around here all the time, my husband drives me, I don't drive,” said Maria Garcia, who works out at the gym. “I work out at night time. I'm scared.”

Garcia says she carries perfume as protection but now plans on looking into getting pepper spray.

Women in the Jewish community say they won't be walking alone.

“I wouldn't let my girls walk alone at night,” said Sara Landau, a mother of two girls. “I'll take them by car.”

Police refuse to release a description of the suspect but say the woman's SUV was found in the parking lot with her cellphone and purse still inside.

Some say the parking lot needs more security and more lights in the parking lot.

A mall spokesperson says,“Last evening for some reason, the one light was out, one light on but it was still lit up.”

Police are also working with NYPD detectives to see if this case could be related to an incident in Brooklyn, where a woman in the Jewish community there was abducted and assaulted.

“The incidents that occurred in Boro Park are similar in nature and we feel there may be a connection,” Captain Lawson said.

Police say the susepct in Brooklyn posed as a police officer and attempted to abduct several other young girls.

Members of the community in Lakewood believe they're being targetted.

“Everybody's alert and praying,” said Rabbi Ahron Esptein. “We thought we were secluded...we just hope people leave us alone.”

Police would not give us a description of the suspect's car, though they had released a description of the car when the woman was found.

Police wouldn't talk about the woman's time in captivity, either, nor would they say how she got back to the crime scene.

Police Look for Suspect in Abduction Investigation, PA
May 8, 2006

Police in Lakewood, New Jersey are trying to track a man who abducted and sexually assaulted a young woman Sunday night. Police are releasing very little information at this time about a suspect in this case of sexual assault.

Police have said that they are still talking to the victim and that she is still being treated for injuries suffered in the attack.

According to police the abduction took place at about 10:30 Sunday night as the 20-year-old woman was leaving the Trim Gym where she had been working out. Authorities say a weapon was not used but that the victim was grabbed and pushed into a vehicle. Her attackers brought her back early Monday morning to an area near the gym and police say she had been sexually assaulted.

Lakewood has a large orthodox Jewish population and the victim herself is orthodox. There were questions Monday as to whether this could have been a bias crime.

Police are not releasing any information about a suspect at this time, although earlier it had been disclosed that a green Jeep Cherokee might have been involved. The manager of the Trim Gym says she has stepped up security in the parking lot.

Police here have been talking with NYC detectives concerning a number of attempted abductions in an orthodox Jewish section of Brooklyn. Those cases apparently involve younger children, 10 to 15-years-old, still they are looking at all possibilities.

UPDATE: Lakewood police seek male suspect in abduction, assault
Asbury Park Press (NJ)
May 8, 2006

LAKEWOOD — Law enforcement officials said this afternoon that a young woman was abducted, assaulted and then released by her captor after leaving a health club. Police also are probing whether the incident is linked to similar crimes in New York.

The woman was abducted shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday from a parking lot outside a health club, sexually assaulted and returned to the same location around 5 a.m. today, authorities said. The woman, described as about 20 years old, was hospitalized after police were contacted.

"Our town had a terrible crime visited on us last night,'' Mayor
Meir Lichtenstein said today. "All of us in Lakewood are gathering around the victim and the family.''

Police Capt. Robert Lawson said authorities are working with New York police to determine whether the incident is related to several attempted abductions in Borough Park, a largely Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn. The victim in the Lakewood incident is an Orthodox Jewish woman.

Lakewood's population of about 65,000 people is nearly 50 percent Orthodox Jewish.

Police are looking for a white man, about 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-8, with a shaved head, said Executive Assistant Ocean County Prosecutor Robert A. Gasser.

Police said the woman was abducted around 9:45 p.m. Sunday outside the Trim Gym health club in the ShopRite plaza at Kennedy Boulevard and Route 9 by a person driving a green Jeep Cherokee, Lawson said.

The woman was sexually assaulted and then returned to the same shopping mall this morning, police said. The woman was hospitalized at Kimball Medical Center.

The woman is believed to have put her personal belongings in her car when she was abducted, said Joe Atlas, a spokesman for Lakewood's Orthodox Jewish community.

Gasser said he had no knowledge that a weapon was involved in the incident.

Few details have emerged of the woman's time in captivity, but Atlas and Gasser said she was returned to the parking lot at about 5 a.m.

Mayor Meir Lichtenstein said preliminary reports indicate no bias motivation in the attack.

Atlas said the woman's family and the rest of the community are thankful she is alive. They also thanked law enforcement for their help.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was not widely reported that the two perps flashing police badges are not just operating in Boro Park. One of the most recent abduction attempts was in Flatbush at Ave J & East 4th St.

May 09, 2006 6:51 AM  
Anonymous sheesh said...

bias crime?
lets see boro park, flatbush and lakewood.
the guy(s)got to go to bnay brak too before anyone thinks it's biased?

May 09, 2006 11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if it is the same rapist what's going to stop him from driving to other charedi communities?

How far will this violent sex offender rapist? Passaic? Elizabeth? Teaneck? or even Baltimore?

Will this be a hushed up secret? or will our rabbis warn the communities?

May 09, 2006 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

people should be carefull in all charaidi communities.
kiryat joel.

May 09, 2006 3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are rumors in the yeshiva that the Lakewood rapist was caught but there is a very low profile on it becuase he comes from a solid lakewood family and appears to have gone off the derech

May 22, 2006 8:11 PM  

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