A Queens teenager with a history of sexual assaults was arrested Sunday and charged with raping a woman at Valley Stream State Park and attacking another woman on a Valley Stream street, Nassau County police said in announcing his arrest.
Nashane Peterkin, 16, of Springfield Gardens, was arrested just before 7 a.m. on Sept. 7 in the Howard Beach section of Queens. He was charged by Nassau County police for the street attack in Valley Stream and by New York State Park Police for the sexual assault at Valley Stream State Park.
It was shortly before 11 a.m. on Sept. 1 when a woman in her 60s was attacked while walking alone on a hiking trail near the Hendrickson Avenue entrance to the park. Police closed down all entrances to the park to investigate and quickly disseminated a composite sketch of the suspect – who was described by the victim as being a black male with a thin build between the ages of 29 and 35.
Police said Peterkin is also responsible for attacking a woman two weeks earlier as she was walking home in Valley Stream. During that attack, the 30-year-old victim was walking home from the train station when she was attacked by a man on a bicycle. Police alleged that Peterkin grabbed the woman’s buttocks from behind as she walked down Mill Road and then chased her down as she tried to run away. Investigators said the woman – who is reportedly pregnant – was able to run from the suspect to a nearby block, but was confronted by him again when she stopped after losing her breath.
When he caught up with her, Peterkin allegedly pushed the woman to the ground and punched her in the face before attempting to rip off her shirt and pin her down. The victim was able to fight him off and Peterkin allegedly fled on a bicycle.
A Nassau County police spokesman confirmed to Examiner.com last Wednesday detectives were pursuing a theory that the two cases may have been connected. Detectives were also investigating if the same suspect was responsible for a third attack in Lynbrook. As of Sunday night, Peterkin was not charged in that crime.
According to a 2011 New York Post report, Peterkin was previously charged with attempted rape and sexual assault for attacks in Queens in October 2011. The newspaper said the then-15-year-old had confessed to brutally attacking women in eastern Queens during two separate encounters in October 2011.
In a news release at the time, the Queens County district attorney’s office said the juvenile offender – who the newspaper reported as Peterkin – had punched a 40-year-old woman in the face repeatedly before removing her clothing and sexually abusing her during an Oct. 9, 2011 incident. In the second attack on Oct. 16, 2011, he allegedly approached a 24-year-old woman from behind before holding her in a headlock and punching her repeatedly. The victim was beaten until she was unconscious as he allegedly attempted to remove her girdle, prosecutors said.
The Queens DA’s office said Peterkin would have been sentenced as a juvenile. The outcome of the criminal case was not known and a district attorney’s office spokesman could not be reached Sunday night for comment.
For the recent attacks, Peterkin has been charged with first-degree rape, second-degree assault, first-degree sexual abuse and strangulation. His arrest was the result of a joint investigation by Nassau County Police, Nassau County Special Victims detectives, the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, New York State Police, New York State Park Police and the NYPD.
Police are expected to provide additional information at a Monday afternoon press briefing.
Peterkin is due to be arraigned Monday morning at First District Court in Hempstead.