Metro

Suspect Paulie Velez arrested in Central Park rape case

Cops have collared a homeless man in the shocking rape of a woman in Central Park.

Paulie Velez, 25, was nabbed at 12:50 a.m. Saturday, the NYPD said. He’s now charged with rape, robbery, strangulation, assault, sex abuse and criminal possession of stolen property, authorities said.

Velez, clad in a knit hat, white T-shirt, jeans and a black surgical mask, said nothing as cops led him out of the Fifth Precinct station house to a waiting unmarked car early Saturday. He is expected to be arraigned at Manhattan Criminal Court.

Velez allegedly approached the 27-year-old victim from behind as she ran on a footpath near the pond in the park’s southeastern corner at around 7:20 a.m. Thursday, placing her in a chokehold until she lost consciousness and raping her, police said.

Velez was seen wearing black pants and shirts, with a black baseball cap and mask to match, as he entered a train station through an open emergency exit door — beating the fare, according to security footage released by the NYPD.

The victim reached out to a passerby for help, and was taken to a hospital, NYPD Inspector Michael King said at a Thursday briefing, adding there would be increased patrols in the Manhattan park after the attack.

Just 25 minutes later, a man who was released from state prison earlier this week allegedly tried to rape a 54-year-old jogger on Randall’s Island, before he was scared off by a bystander, sources said.

Paulie Velez was nabbed and now charged with rape, robbery, strangulation, assault, sex abuse and criminal possession of stolen property.
Paulie Velez was nabbed and now charged with rape, robbery, strangulation, assault, sex abuse and criminal possession of stolen property.
DCPI

Registered sex offender Howard Shaw, 38, was charged in that attack.


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