Cops nab ‘person of interest’ in Queens park sex attack against 13 year old girl

NEW YORK — A migrant from Ecuador has been taken into custody for the horrific sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl in a Queens park, police sources said.

The suspect, who entered the U.S. through Eagle Pass, Tex. in June 2021, was taken in for questioning around 1:30 a.m. after a group of good Samaritans recognized him as the one allegedly responsible for the Thursday afternoon attack. Charges were not immediately filed.

Cops zeroed in on the suspect after someone recognized him from surveillance images cops released Monday and called 911, bringing police to a single-room-occupancy dwelling near the corner of Waldorn St. and 108th St. in Corona — about three miles from Kissena Corridor Park in Flushing, where he allegedly held a girl at knifepoint and violated her.

Several people at the SRO tried to stop the suspect, sparking a fight.

The suspect suffered bumps and bruises during the brawl and was taken to an area hospital for observation.

Police are calling the man in custody a “strong person of interest.”

The victim had just finished playing soccer in the park with a schoolmate, also 13, when the tattooed suspect approached them around 3:30 p.m., cops said.

He demanded they follow him into a dense wooded area off the beaten path near Colden St. and Kalmia Ave. When the children refused, he flashed a “large machete-style knife” and forced them into the woods, NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said at a news conference Friday.

Once in a secluded thatch of trees, the attacker tied the kids’ wrists together with a shoelace and assaulted the girl.

He then robbed the two children of their cell phones and ran off.

Cops quickly mobilized and put out sketches of the suspect and a distinctive tattoo of a boar on his chest.

Investigators expanded their canvass of the surrounding streets, catching surveillance video of the suspect leaving the scene on a bicycle.

They recovered the footage after Kenny on Friday vowed to “go miles and miles to find video.”

“This incident is a parent’s nightmare,” NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said Friday. “All the community should be very upset about this and be willing to come out and help the police department as we try to resolve this issue.”

Visitors to Kissena Corridor Park, a narrow greenspace that connects Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to Kissena Park, over the weekend said they avoid the heavily wooded areas, especially in the evenings.

“I don’t usually walk at night here,” one park visitor, who would only identify herself as Grace, told the Daily News as she looked at a wanted poster along the trail. “That would be crazy.”

Shocked by news of the attack, Grace, 77, said: “It’s hurting my heart.”

“How old is the girl? 13?” she added. “We cannot trust [anyone]. We have to be careful.”

According to recent NYPD statistics, there have been two robberies and one assault in Kissena Corridor Park as of March 31. Last year, Kissena Corridor Park played host to four robberies, two assaults and one grand larceny, cops said.

For the foreseeable future, the NYPD plans to bring in more patrols, fly drones and install cameras in the park.