Nassau County detectives are investigating a possible connection between incidents in Lynbrook and Valley Stream after investigators suspected that they may have been connected to a rape that occurred on Sunday at Valley Stream State Park, authorities and sources said.
It was shortly after 11 a.m. on Sunday when a woman in her 60s was attacked along a hiking trail near the Hendrickson Avenue entrance to Valley Stream State Park. The victim told police that her attacker was a black male between the ages of 29 and 35. He was described as being 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-9 with a thin build and short hair with braids on the sides, State Park Police said.
In separate news releases Wednesday, Nassau County police announced incidents involving a suspect with a similar description. Both of those incidents occurred three weeks ago, within minutes of each other, in the neighboring communities of Valley Stream and Lynbrook.
In the Lynbrook incident, police said a 58-year-old woman was attacked inside her home on Lois Place. The alleged assailant – a 5-foot-8 black male with a thin build – was seen getting off a bicycle in front of the woman’s home and then forcing her front door open. Once he was inside the house, he allegedly “grabbed the victim in an inappropriate manner” over her jeans before attempting to remove them while choking her, cops said. The woman was able to yell for help to a neighbor, who called 911. The man fled from the scene on his bicycle.
During the second incident, which occurred 20 minutes later in Valley Stream, a 30-year-old woman was approached by a man on a bicycle as she was walking from the train station. Police said the suspect – a black male with a thin build – grabbed the woman’s buttocks from behind as she was walking along Mill Road. The victim allegedly ran away from the suspect onto a nearby block, but was confronted by him again. When he caught up with her, he pushed her to the ground and punched her in the face, detectives said.
As he was attacking her, the man attempted to rip off the victim’s shirt and pin her to the ground. She was able to fight him off and he fled on his bicycle. The victim was later treated for scrapes and cuts to her arms and legs at a local hospital.
A police spokesman confirmed Wednesday that detectives are investigating a possible connection between the crimes. Nassau detectives have been in contact with State Park Police investigators, who are leading the rape investigation.
A sketch of the suspect involved in the Lynbrook burglary was released Wednesday. A law enforcement official noted both similarities and differences between the sketch and a composite released by State Park Police on Monday.
Anyone with information on these attacks is urged to call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.