114th Pct. Cops Lauded For Sex Assault Arrest
City Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. praised two officers of the 114th Police Precinct for their quick response to a 911 call that helped lead to the capture and arrest of a man who has been charged with attempted rape, attempted kidnapping and sexual abuse after he allegedly assaulted a nine-year-old girl in Astoria Park on August 8.
At what was to be the last time Inspector David Barrere would distribute Cop-of-the Month awards as commanding officer of the 114th Precinct, Sergeant John Goetz and Police Officer Paul D’Amore were honored at the September meeting of the precinct community council as July Cops-of-the Month for their actions in August while Sergeant Robert Gibson and Police Officer Stavroula Choriatis were presented with June Cop-of-the-Month awards and Detective Carey O’Connor and Sergeant Adam Ramos were cited as August Cops-of-the-Month.
Vallone blasted the slow judicial pace and lax sex offender laws in the state. “I am the father of a nine-year-old girl,” he said. “This just horrified me that it could happen in the middle of the day.” The attack happened in the early afternoon of a busy Monday in Astoria Park.
“It was a vicious assault. [The suspect] punched her in the face and sexually assaulted her,” Vallone said. “And it could have been much worse but because of the quick response of the two officers, he was scared away.”
According to police, on Monday August 8 at approximately 2:47 p.m. in the vicinity of Ditmars and Shore Boulevards inside Astoria Park, a 23-year-old man forced the nine-year old girl into a wooded area and allegedly sexually abused her. The girl screamed and although punched in the face, she got away after which witnesses called 911 and the suspect fled. He was later arrested at home when the car he left at the scene was traced to him.
Vallone Jr. said the alleged attacker is still free on $50,000 bail and has not yet been indicted, although a court date is set for October 10. Vallone Jr. criticized the current New York state law that allows a maximum of seven years for sexual abuse of a nine-year old. Assemblymember Michael Gianaris said he would have a bill to increase penalties for sexual offenses ready to introduce to the state legislature when it reconvenes in January.
On June 28, Sergeant Gibson and Officer Choriatis were flagged down by an individual who had just been robbed by three males. The officers immediately put the victim in the car with them and canvassed the area, arresting the suspected robbers a short time later.
“In the last two months, these two have been superstars,” Barrere said, specifically noting that Choriatis has made 15 arrests.
In August, Barrere said the case of a female victim who was kidnapped, tortured and forcibly raped was committed by a known violent career criminal. “He’s been a plague on this community,” Barrere said of the man who has been arrested in the 114th several times before.
Carey and Ramos, brought the perpetrator to justice when they pursued and located the suspect. “The detectives did outstanding work, tracking him down, kicking down the door and finding him with a loaded shot gun. Well done,” said Barrere, who was recently reassigned to command the 75th Precinct in Brooklyn.