Authorities in New York are asking for the public's help to track down five men who forced a father at gunpoint to abandon his 18-year-old daughter and proceeded to take turns raping her. The 7 January incident, which happened inside Osborne park in Brooklyn, involved five black males, including one with a gun, New York Police Department said in a statement.
The police said that the father left the five suspects and each took turns to rape the victim. The father then returned with two uniformed police officers, but the suspects fled the scene. According to police, the victim was taken to Kings County Hospital to be treated and was later released. The victim suffered lacerations to her arms, neck and knees during the attack.
NYPD spokeswoman Arlene Muniz told CNN that the men are suspected to range in age from their teens to thirties. A surveillance video from a bodega (a small convenience store) was released on 9 January allegedly showing the five suspects.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on 10 January that he is "disgusted and deeply saddened by the horrific attack." According to The Associated Press, De Blasio added: "Every New Yorker in every neighbourhood deserves to feel safe and protected, and we will not stop until the perpetrators of this disturbing attack are held accountable for their actions."
Community activists also called for the neighbourhood to look out for the perpetrators. "Get up, get outraged, and identify these individuals that we see in the video that's being provided by the NYPD," said activist Tony Herbert at Osborn Playground on 10 January. Community members also criticised the NYPD for taking too long to respond to the incident and notify the public of the gang rape.
"There's a missing piece to this entire incident that five individuals raped a person and there was a lapse in the response to come here," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams to CBS New York.