The NYPD’s “Viper” surveillance system is being credited with helping police nab a suspected rapist in a Coney Island apartment building Saturday.
Officials said that members of the NYPD Viper unit were monitoring the cameras inside the apartment building on West 23rd Street when they witnessed an attack on a stairwell between the 14th and 15th floors.
The unit contacted the NYPD Housing police, who discovered that a 19-year-old woman had been sexually assaulted on the stairwell.
The alleged rapist, identified as 22-year-old Todd Melendez, was found during a search of the building.
Melendez, who police said is homeless, was placed under arrest and charged with rape in the first degree.
His victim was rushed to an area hospital for treatment, officials said.
Two days before the above incident, prosecutors from the Kings County District Attorney’s office announced the conviction of a rapist responsible for an attack in both Coney Island and Bay Ridge.
Antonio Lopez, 36, faces upwards of 50 years in prison for the two sex assaults, both of which took place over four years ago.
Officials allege that Lopez grabbed his first victim behind a Coney Island school back in October 2003, and beat, choked and raped her.
Several months later, in February 2004, he struck again, this time attacking a woman that he had taken to an abandoned train yard in Bay Ridge, officials said.
Prosecutors said that both victims reported the attack as soon as Lopez left them.
DNA evidence collected by detectives linked back to Lopez, a felon, who was arrested for the two crimes back in August, 2007.
Put in choke hold
An area man was choked and robbed of the earpiece to his phone as he passed by a Bensonhurst corner last week.
The victim told police that he had just crossed the corner of 86th Street and 25th Avenue at 12:40 p.m. on May 16 when he found himself surrounded by six teens.
The sinister sextet robbed the victim of his property and ran off.
Responding officers managed to arrest three of the six teens – all under 15 years old – but it was unclear if the earpiece was recovered.
Beaten with wheels
A 12-year-old boy was attacked with his own skateboard as he tried to fend off four thieves hell-bent on taking his cell phone.
The child said that he was rolling past the corner of Benson Avenue and Bay 37th Street in Bath Beach when one of the four teenage thieves reached out and punched him in the chest causing him to fall to the ground.
The thieves reportedly demanded that the child hand over his Sidekick cell phone. When he wouldn’t, one of the thieves picked up the skateboard and struck him in the back with it, officials said.
The thieves took the phone and ran off, explained police, who said that the robbery took place just before 5 p.m. on May 15.
More phone fiends
Police said that the above May 15 mugging was one of four cell phone robberies to take place in Bensonhurst last week.
Cops said that at 3 p.m. on May 14, another 12-year-old boy was pushed to the floor and robbed of his cell phone – another Sidekick – as he made his way home.
The robbery, police said, took place at the corner of 85th Street and 24th Avenue.
About an hour later, a 14-year-old boy was surrounded by three teens and robbed of his Sidekick cell phone at the corner of 16th Avenue and 86th Street.
The bloodiest robbery took place on May 11, when an 18-year-old was slashed in the face when three thugs tried to free him from his cell phone.
The victim said that he was passing the corner of New Utrecht Avenue and 71st Street at 4 a.m. when three thieves barreled out of a black car.
One of the thieves raked a box-cutter across his face as the trio, believed to be Hispanic males in their 20s, forced him to hand over his property.
Cops are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to come forward.
Calls can be made to the 62nd Precinct at (718) 236-2611. All calls will be kept confidential.
A 26-year-old man was arrested Saturday on charges that he stabbed a woman in the stomach.
Police were told that the suspect, identified only as A. Dzhanashvillia, had argued with the woman inside of a café near the corner of Emmons Avenue and East 21st Street.
The argument spilled out into the street at 1 a.m. on May 17, where police allege Dzhanashvillia jammed a knife into the woman’s stomach, causing a deep cut.
The woman was rushed to Coney Island Hospital, where she was listed in stable condition.
Responding officers alleged that when they arrived at the scene, Dzhanashvillia still had the knife on him.
He had dropped the knife and was walking away from the crowd when police charged him with assault.
A 37-year-old woman told police that she was attacked by her husband’s mistress when she caught the two of them canoodling.
Police were told that the victim returned to her Bay 19th Street home early on the afternoon of May 12 and found the two of them together.
Instead of skulking away, the new woman in her husband’s life began arguing with the victim, cops were told.
During the screaming match, she allegedly hit the lady of the house with a dust pan and scratched her face, officials said.
Police were still investigating the woman’s claims as this paper went to press.