2009-11-06 / Top Stories

Politicians, Police, Community Meet About Rapist

By Miriam Rosenberg

Chief Thomas Dale, right, the commanding officer of Queens South, explains that the NYPD was putting everything they had into apprehending the rapist. Also pictured are Congressman Gregory Meeks, State Senator Malcolm Smith and Councilman James Sanders Jr. Chief Thomas Dale, right, the commanding officer of Queens South, explains that the NYPD was putting everything they had into apprehending the rapist. Also pictured are Congressman Gregory Meeks, State Senator Malcolm Smith and Councilman James Sanders Jr. Less than a week after police and politicians met with community members to provide updates and advise women on precautions they should take following two rapes in two days, police have arrested a suspect.

Last Saturday as the Rockaway community reeled from the then-open case, Congressman Gregory Meeks hosted a community meeting at the site of the first attack, the Macedonia Baptist Church on Beach 67 Street. "Over 50 extra cops have been assig -

ned to the area," said Chief Tho - mas Dale, the commanding officer of Queens South, who added that most were on duty during the midnight shift when the rapes occur - red. "Every body is involved."

Extra police vehicles were assig - ned to patrol Beach Channel Drive from the Beach 50s - the second rape took place at Ocean Bay Houses at 364 Beach 56 Street - through the Beach 60s.

Prior to the meeting, community members -  led by Councilman James Sanders Jr. -  marched between the two crime scenes stopping only to hand out sketches of the man police were seeking. Prior to the meeting, community members - led by Councilman James Sanders Jr. - marched between the two crime scenes stopping only to hand out sketches of the man police were seeking. The extra officers included plain clothes and uniformed officers. The police also made use of the NYPDs Eye in the Sky.

Dale and Lt. Artie Hall, the commanding officer of the Queens South Special Victims Squad, suggested several ways for women to protect themselves including: walk with a buddy or have someone meet you when you arrive at the bus or train stop; keep your cell phone in your hand and if you feel threatened call the police immediately and do not were earphones.

They will drown out any surrounding noises.

Also attending the meeting were Councilman James Sanders Jr. - who led a march from Beach 56 Street to Beach 67 Street prior to the meeting; Senator Malcolm Smith and Assem bly woman Mi - chele Titus; the commanders of the 101 and 100 Precincts Deputy Inspectors Brian McMahon and Tom Barrett; and Deputy Chief Theresa J. Shortell, the commanding officer of the Special Victims Division.

Deputy Chief Theresa J. Shortell, the commanding officer of the Spe cial Victims Divi sion, holds up the most re cent sketches of the suspect as Lt. Artie Hall, the commanding officer of the Queens South Spe - cial Victims Squad talks about the case. Deputy Chief Theresa J. Shortell, the commanding officer of the Spe cial Victims Divi sion, holds up the most re cent sketches of the suspect as Lt. Artie Hall, the commanding officer of the Queens South Spe - cial Victims Squad talks about the case.

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