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4 teens arrested in suspected NYC gang rape; 5th in custody

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Osborn playground in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, N.Y., the site of an alleged gang rape.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    The Osborn playground in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, N.Y., the site of an alleged gang rape.

NEW YORK » Four teenagers were arrested today on charges they gang-raped an 18-year-old woman at a Brooklyn playground, and a fifth suspect was being questioned by detectives, authorities said.

The four boys, one as young as 14, were being held as adults and awaiting arraignment on charges of rape, forcible compulsion, criminal sex act and sexual abuse.

Police identified the suspects as Denzel Murray, 14; Shaquell Cooper and Ethan Phillip, both 15; and 17-year-old Onandi Brown. The fifth teen, also 17, was taken into custody late this morning, police said. He has not been charged or named.

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. He returned moments later, hurled a bottle at them and then one 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 wandering the playground.

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 released it that night with a request for the public’s help in locating them. Police said Monday that no gun had been recovered.

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    • News is coming out that the father was so drunk he couldn’t even summon a police officer until 20 minutes had passed. He also took his daughter to that area so they wouldn’t be bothered by the police. Very poor parenting on the father’s part but put blame where it belongs, on the rapists.

      • agree. There is more to this story than we know but I hope DNA can be used to convict the rapists if they are indeed guilty./ Amazing how young they are but I guess that is the world we live in.

    • Let’s not be so cynical. One such leader has weighed in: “U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D), whose congressional district includes the area where the incident occurred, said there is conflicting information about … whether a gun was involved, according to … Reuters … He told the news service that the father allegedly had been drinking with his underage daughter ‘to the point where he became intoxicated. … The initial reports were that he was threatened with a gun but that seems to be based on his version of events.’”

  • I can see refusing to just hand your phone to a stranger, but there is no reason for a merchant in the United States, whatever his ethnicity or nationality, to refuse to make a 911 call on someone’s behalf. Important, but not mentioned in the story is the fact that payphones accept calls to emergency numbers such as 911 for free.

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