NEW YORK (AP) — A fifth teenager was taken into custody Tuesday in connection with the suspected gang rape of a woman at a Brooklyn playground last week.
The boy, age 17, was found at school and was being questioned by detectives while four other boys — one just 14 — were awaiting arraignment on charges of rape, forcible compulsion, criminal sex act and sexual abuse. Prosecutors planned to charge all four as adults.
Authorities were told the attack began at about 9 p.m. Thursday after an 18-year-old woman and her 39-year-old father decided to drink beer together near a handball court at a playground residents say usually is quiet and empty at night.
The woman told investigators that a group of teenagers approached the pair in the park and ordered the father to leave. When he returned moments later and hurled a bottle at the teens, one teen pulled out a handgun and chased him away, according to the woman's account.
The father, who didn't have a cellphone, said he wandered around for several minutes in a futile attempt to get help. He said he went into a store, but a merchant refused to let him use a telephone. After about 15 minutes, the father flagged down two police officers, who found the woman in the playground.
Police identified the four teens facing charges as Denzel Murray, 14; Shaquell Cooper and Ethan Phillip, both 15; and 17-year-old Onandi Brown. The fifth teen has not been charged or named, police said.
Investigators did an extensive search for witnesses but came up empty, police said. On Saturday, they located a security videotape they said showed the suspects entering a deli, and authorities released it that night with a request for the public's help in locating them. Police said Monday that no gun had been recovered.