Following a series of sexual assaults in the Valley Stream area over the past month, police say they have caught the man responsible for at least two of them, including a rape at Valley Stream State Park on Sept. 1, and are still investigating whether the same man sexually assaulted a woman in Lynbrook on Aug. 12.
Police arrested 16-year-old Nashane Peterkin, of 231st Street in Springfield Gardens, Queens, in Howard Beach last Sunday, following an investigation by Nassau County, New York State and State Parks police and the Nassau County district attorney’s office.
Nassau County Police Chief of Department Steven Skrynecki said the arrest was made with help from the New York City Police Department. Skrynecki added that Peterkin was known to the NYPD, but he could not comment on the suspect’s prior criminal history.
Peterkin is accused of raping a 60-year-old woman in the state park on Sept. 1 shortly after 11 a.m. According to police, the woman was walking on a path in the southern section of the park when she was assaulted.
Peterkin is also accused of attacking a 30-year-old woman nearly three weeks earlier, on Mill Road. In that incident, which occurred on Aug. 12 at about 9 p.m. near Jedwood Place, the victim, who was walking home from the train station, was approached by a man on a bicycle. Police say that man was Peterkin, and that he grabbed her buttocks from behind, then chased her, pushed her to the ground, punched her in the face and attempted to rip off her shirt before she managed to fight him off.
According to police, there is DNA evidence against Peterkin, and one of the victims has identified him as her attacker.
Investigators worked around the clock to find the suspect, Skrynecki said, adding that the assaults disturbed both the community and law enforcement officials.
Police are still investigating a third reported incident, which also occured on Aug. 12 attack. About 20 minutes before the attack near Jedwood Place, a man forced his way inside a Lois Place home in Lynbrook and sexually assaulted a 58-year-old woman.