Man arrested in rape of 13-year-old after residents spot him

NYPD cops stand on street at night

Police arrested a man accused of raping a 13-year-old at a New York City park after members of the community recognised him, then held him until police arrived using a belt to tie his legs together.

Christian Geovanny Inga-Landi, 25, is facing charges of rape, robbery, kidnapping, endangering the welfare of a child, possession of a weapon and sexual abuse.

He is suspected of raping a 13-year-old girl last week at Kissena Park in Queens. He allegedly threatened the girl and a 13-year-old boy with a knife before tying their wrists together with a shoelace.

Police took Mr Inga-Landi into custody early Tuesday morning.

New York Police Department Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny told reporters during a press conference that residents - at least 10 of whom saw him around their neighbourhood - identified Mr Inga-Landi and called 911.

"At the time, the community was trying to hold the perpetrator waiting for the police," Mr Kenny said. "He [Mr Inga-Landi] fought with them and the community still managed to hold on to him until they got there."

The suspect was later treated at Elmhurst Hospital for minor injuries sustained in the struggle.

Police credited community members and the victims of the crime for providing details about the suspect. Officers went door-to-door with surveillance video of him leading up to arrest.

NYPD officials said they learned his name through numerous tips from Queens residents and found photos on his social media accounts of him wearing the same clothing worn during the alleged crime. They also identified a distinguishable tattoo on his chest.

Mr Inga-Landi is an Ecuadorian national who entered the US through Eagle Pass, Texas, in July 2021. He had no prior arrest history in New York City, but had been detained in Texas for entering the country illegally, Mr Kenny said.

Mr Inga-Landi said he knew "his time in this country was coming to a near and he was going to have to leave soon after", police said.

Mr Kenny added that Mr Inga-Landi told investigators he has a drug problem. Officers said they found the knife he used to threaten the two teens in the park.

NYPD offered a $10,000 reward for information that led to his arrest.