A 21-year-old man from the Bronx was arrested in a violent sexual assault on a 53-year-old woman while her family watched a football game at a local park last month.
Michael Okonkwo was handcuffed for rape, strangulation, assault and petty theft in the 9 p.m. attack in Soundview Park on September 19, police said on Friday. Information on a possible lawyer for him was not immediately available.
The victim watched the game and drove to her car to get a lawn chair when a stranger pinned her to the ground by the hair, police said. The man sat on top of her and covered her mouth, but she managed to let out a few screams.
His nephew came running up.
“I heard my aunt scream, call my name. She was out of breath, ”he told News 4 earlier this month. “I saw the man fighting with my aunt. He was a great guy. I tried to stop it. He pushed me away and started to run away. He threatened me.
The attacker then fled. The nephew later said that his aunt was physically fine, but was struggling emotionally with the trauma of what had happened.
Another man who was with his family couldn’t believe the brazen attack on what he calls a secure park heavily patrolled by police.
“It’s scary, it’s crazy because the cops are still there, they are still patrolling,” Noel Hernandez said. “They even get involved, they play with the kids and everything. They talk to families. They are very involved in the community.