Police have arrested a homeless man who on Friday night allegedly committed the fifth rape in the city’s parks in just over a month.
Ruben Canales, 27, sexually assaulted a woman at around 9:45 p.m. Friday in the East Village’s Tompkins Square Park, police said.
The NYPD did not offer any details of the crime. But according to sources for the watchdog group NYC Park Advocates, the 31-year-old victim had fallen asleep on a bench, only to wake up with Canales on top of her.
The victim then purportedly fought him off and ran into a nearby deli. When Canales followed her inside, workers at the deli called the police.
Canales had recently been arrested for marijuana sales, criminal mischief and criminal possession of stolen property, NYC Park Advocates reported.
"We need elected officials to start properly funding for park police," Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Park Advocates, told Metro. "The public should not be expected to fend off murderers and rapists."
String of park rapes
Friday night's attack is the fifth rape reported in the city’s parks since September 3. Here is a list of the others:
1. On Sept. 3 at 2:15 a.m., a 19-year-old woman was raped behind a playground in Riverside Park.
2. At 2 a.m. on Sept. 10, a 56-year-old woman was raped and thrown from the second story of Pier 15 on the East River Waterfront.
3. On Sept. 12, a 73-year-old woman was raped midday in Strawberry Fields in Central Park.
4. On Sept. 22, around 5 a.m., a 21-year-old was raped in Hudson River Park.