According to police reports on Tuesday, a young woman was raped and robbed by a stranger wearing a teddy bear T-shirt on a street in East Harlem.
The assailant, identified as Geovanni Romero Gonzalez, 25, was homeless and had two pending cases related to groping incidents at the time of the attack, as stated by the authorities.
Using security surveillance video from the area, investigators were able to trace Gonzalez’s movements after the assault occurred at around 1:40 a.m. on Monday at the intersection of 111th St. and Second Ave., police sources revealed.
According to law enforcement officials, the victim informed them that the perpetrator initially tried to engage her in conversation on the street. However, sensing danger, she attempted to flee. Gonzalez pursued her, forcibly grabbing and sexually assaulting her.
After the assault, he fled with her bag and cellphone, heading east on E. 111th St., according to the police.
In an effort to identify and apprehend the suspect, the authorities released surveillance footage of Gonzalez, seeking assistance from the public.
It proved helpful that he was wearing a black T-shirt featuring a colorful teddy bear design.
On Tuesday morning, police apprehended Gonzalez at the Randalls Island shelter, and he has since been charged with rape, sexually motivated robbery, stalking, and sexual abuse.
Outside the NYPD’s Special Victims Unit, as Gonzalez was being escorted to a police vehicle for transportation to court, he claimed to have no knowledge of the crime.
“I don’t know, sir,” he said when asked how it happened. “I don’t know.”
Gonzalez currently has two ongoing criminal cases in Queens. According to police sources, in 2021, he was accused of rubbing his private parts against a 15-year-old girl at the 82nd St. station of the 7 train.
In January, he faced charges of second-degree assault, harassment involving the threat of physical contact, and resisting arrest, as indicated by court records.
Furthermore, on April 8, he was arrested on drug-related charges.