Cops Bust Rockaway Rapist
Police have arrested the man they say is wanted for two rapes committed in Rockaway in late October.
Court sources say that a search warrant of his home, executed on November 3, turned up two illegal handguns and assorted rounds of ammunition.
Sources told The Wave on Wednesday that the search warrant and arrest were triggered by a hit on the DNA found in condoms nearby each of the rapes. Johnson allegedly wore latex gloves and used a condom in each of the rapes.
Johnson has a criminal record, police say, and his DNA was on file from a previous assault.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said that he is confident of a conviction.
"DNA evidence is the equivalent of a criminal leaving his wallet containing his name and address at a crime scene," said Brown. "DNA has become one of law enforcement's most important tools. It is to criminal investigations today what fingerprints have been in the past - only better. It is virtually foolproof. It identifies the guilty and excludes the innocent."
In the first incident, a woman on the way home from her job at 3 a.m. was viciously attacked and raped as she exited the Beach 67 Street A Train station on Tuesday morning, October 27, police sources say.
According to police, the unidentified woman was exiting the station when she was approached by a man brandishing a handgun.
The gunman then forced the woman to the rear alleyway at 330 Beach 67 Street, where he forcibly raped and robbed her.
In the Wednesday morning incident, an unidentified 21-year-old woman was standing on the corner of Beach Channel Drive and Beach 56 Street at about 5:20 a.m. on October 28, when she was confronted by a man brandishing a handgun who forced her into the Ocean Bay apartment house at 364 Beach 56 Street, where she was taken to a sixth floor landing before she was raped and robbed.
Police set up an Eye In The Sky surveillance system on Beach Channel Drive and issued a community alert, warning women to exercise caution when walking to and from public transportation in Rockaway.
"Be alert to strangers who may approach you or who walk in close proximity," the alert warns. "Avoid shortcuts and areas that are not heavily traveled or well-lit. Plan your route ahead with safety in mind."
City Councilman James Sanders Jr. says that Johnson should get the maximum sentence.
"If Malcolm Johnson is the sick and heartless predator who preyed on these innocent women, I call on the courts to prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law," Sanders said. "If an individual feels he could violate women in my community freely, he should be stripped of his freedom. I would personally like to thank the Police Department for their hard work and diligence and apprehending the suspect."
Johnson was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Wednesday, charged with several counts of predatory sexual assault, rape, robbery, unlawful imprisonment and criminal possession of a weapon.
He faces 50 years in prison if convicted of the top charges.