Two women — one a 43-year-old jogger, the other unknown — were victims of sex attacks in Manhattan early Thursday, and one of the suspects may be a serial predator linked to two other attacks this year, according to police.
In one of Thursday’s attacks, a woman was running on Pier 45 in the West Village shortly before 6 a.m., authorities say. The victim was raped under a gazebo area on the pier, and police said the victim told them the suspect took off on a Citi bike. He was said to be wearing a burgundy sweater, black pants and a yellow hat.
“Clearly she had been injured, fell or something like that. She had blood on her elbows right here,” said Gabrielle Sumkin, who was also out for a run and noticed the woman in distress. Sumkin called 911 and stayed with the victim until police and first responders arrived. She said the woman appeared disoriented as she stayed with her.
“She was just kinda like, ‘I need help. I need help.’ Over and over again,” said Sumkin. “She was sitting there, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to get too close. I didn’t want to ask her what happened or pry or anything like that.”
The woman was taken to the hospital for her injuries.
A senior police official said the suspect later tried to buy a bus ticket with a stolen credit card at Port Authority, but was denied. Then he went to Target and bought $39 worth of Red Bull with a different stolen card, the official said. Port Authority cops had him in cuffs within an hour after that, the senior police official said.
That suspect was identified as 28-year-old Carl Phanor, of Manhattan. Police said he had also been wanted in two other Manhattan attacks from March and October of this year. The sex attack and robbery on March 27 occurred at Pier 40, on the west side of Manhattan, while the early October incident was on an FDR service road near 37th Street.
Phanor was arrested by Manhattan Special Victims officers and faces a slew of in regards to the three alleged incidents. Police said he was charged with robbery for both the March and October attacks, the latter of which he was also charged with strangulation and sexual assault. For Thursday’s attack, he faces rape, sex assault, grand larceny and invalid use of a credit card charges, according to police.
Law enforcement sources said that when Phanor was apprehended at the Port Authority Bus Terminal early Thursday afternoon, he had apparently shaved his eyebrows since the previous two attacks.
Few details were available in the other sex attack Thursday, which happened in Central Park, near East 109th Street and East Drive around 1:30 a.m. A person of interest was taken into custody but no charges had yet been filed. It did not appear the woman, who also was hospitalized, knew her attacker in that incident.
Anyone with information on any of the cases is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.