Public Employee Press
Parks Patrol Officers bust beach perv
By DIANE S. WILLIAMS
With the assistance of a City Service Aide, the Local 983 team nabbed David Cruz-Rodriguez, 33, who assaulted three women within 20 minutes that morning on a Brooklyn beach.
The perp, who was previously photographed on a train platform wearing a Santa hat and rose-colored shades, molested women in a Manhattan subway in February and alluded police all summer.
“We are proud of these brave members who protect the public and keep beaches and parks safe. Their quick and thorough response took a sex offender off the streets.”—Joe Puleo, Local 983 President
On the last day of the beach season, CSA Ronald Ramirez, a Local 983 member, radioed to report that Sunday morning three women made complaints that a man groped and sexually assaulted them as they sunbathed on Coney Island Beach.
“PEP Officers canvassed the area; we knew he couldn’t have walked too far,” said Urban Park Ranger Beearthur Smith, who with UPR Iyabode Fasasi arrested Cruz-Rodriguez. Local 983 PEP Officers are unarmed but as Peace Officers they are authorized to make arrests.
Five PEP Officers searched until they found Cruz-Rodriguez dozing under the boardwalk. A call to Ramirez confirmed the description and the victims later identified Cruz-Rodriguez at the scene as their assailant.
“We approached him and that’s when he went a little crazy, pushing and trying to get away,” Smith said.
“He was resisting arrest, so we pinned him to the ground to cuff him,” said PEP Capt. Charles St. Lewis. The PEP Officers held Cruz-Rodriguez for Police to transport the assailant to the 60th Precinct.
PEP Officers Fasasi and Celia Joseph saw the perp had a fresh IV in his hand. “We brought him to Coney Island Hospital for medical attention,” Fasasi said. “If the IV was removed improperly he could have bled to death.” Then they escorted Cruz-Rodriguez to NYPD central booking.
Making a difference
“When Police ran him through the system,” St. Lewis said, “Rodriguez’s rap sheet was as long as he is tall.”
While Rodriquez’s rap sheet includes over 20 arrests for burglary, drug possession, forcible touching and other sex abuse offenses, Smith said, “He was declared unfit to stand trial and let go. This time, because he was charged with felony sexual abuse and resisting arrest, the police did not let him go.”
“It pays to follow up and investigate everything that comes across the radio,” St. Lewis said.
“In situations like this you think of the victims and try to make a difference,” Smith added.
“We are proud of these brave Local 983 members who protect the public and keep beaches and parks safe,” said Local 983 President Joe Puleo. “Their quick and thorough response took a sex offender off the streets.”