Police nab rape suspect
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According to police, the suspect walked up the front steps and forced the door open. Once inside, he grabbed the victim and then attempted to remove her pants before choking her. A neighbor heard the woman’s call for help and called police, and the suspect fled westbound on his bicycle on Lois Place, then northbound toward Merrick Road.
“These cases are active at this time,” Skrynecki said, “and we’ll continue with forensic evidence analysis and other investigative follow-up.” He said that there were similarities between the two attacks in Valley Stream and the one in Lynbrook, including the suspect’s getaway on a bike in both Aug. 12 incidents.
“The time and proximity is one issue that comes into play,” he said when asked what links those two cases. “The description of the individual is another thing.”
He described Peterkin as a dangerous person and said his motives appeared purely sexual. He said that it is unknown why the suspect targeted this area of Nassau County. Peterkin acted alone, according to Skrynecki, and did not use any weapons.
“This is extremely unique and extremely rare,” Skrynecki said. “In fact, any type of … serial sexual predator events in Nassau County is very rare. We have not had this type of a situation in quite some time, where the victims are randomly selected, where there is no connection between the assailant and the victim.”
Asked why police did not disclose the information on the Aug. 12 attacks prior to the Sept. 1 rape, Skrynecki said that police were “still trying to determine whether there was relativity between those two cases that were known to us.
“We internally had stepped up our responses in that area,” he added. “We had supplied more patrol officers to those areas. The investigation was cranked up at that point in time, so it was a decision that we had to make, and clearly, once the Valley Stream case took place, the pieces started to fall together, and we saw this as a pattern.”