DNA on an old beer bottle helped police nab a man they say may be the “stun gun rapist” who was responsible for the serial rapes of Queens joggers.
Mark Andrade, 45, is accused in one attempted rape, and authorities say they are testing evidence in a string of similar cases to see whether he is the serial rapist who terrorized at least six joggers and dog walkers in a two-year span dating back to 2011.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. One Victim Pulled a Beer Bottle From the Attacker’s Back Pocket & Police Say That Led Them to Andrade
New York police say that Andrade was caught because a woman fought back and was able to pull key evidence out of his back pocket: A beer bottle. That victim was nearly raped in 2013 along a Queens running trail. The attacker used a stungun on the 23-year-old woman and “then tore off her pants and underwear and tried to rape her before a passer-by scared him off,” according to The New York Post.
She fought back, and that proved crucial, police say.
“This one young lady struggled with him and actually pulled a beer (bottle) out of his back pocket and then threw it,” Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said. “We retrieved that beer bottle as part of the crime scene. That’s where we swabbed and got the DNA. That’s how we identified him.”
2. The ‘Stun gun Rapist’ May Have Attacked at Least Six Times
Authorities are now testing evidence in a string of similar cases. “Authorities say he could be responsible for nearly a half-dozen other sex crimes on the same path since 2011,” reported NBC New York.
NBC New York reported that the other crimes all happened in the daytime and sometimes involved a stun gun. The cases occurred between 2011 and 2013 in Forest Park, and the victims ranged in age from 13 to 69. They were joggers and dog walkers. “In once instance, the man tased a 69-year-old jogger, pushed her to the ground and then raped her,” PIX 11 reported of the horrific string of attacks.
3. Andrade’s Mother Defended Him in the New York Media
Martha Andrade, 80, the suspect’s mother, leapt to his defense when contacted by The New York Daily News, which reported that he had lived with her until recently.
“He wouldn’t do anything like that,” she told the newspaper. “He’s a good man.” Andrade last lived in Richmond Hill, New York.
4. Andrade Has a Criminal History
In February, police in Suffolk County, New York arrested Andrade for insurance fraud, The New York Post reported. He pleaded guilty on July 21 in that case and “submitted a court-ordered DNA sample,” according to the Post.
He was arrested at the courthouse and turned over to the NYPD after the DNA match was discovered. However, NBC New York, reported that Andrade’s DNA was placed into the system in 2015 when he was accused of “stealing copper from utility poles.” He received probation in that case, reported The New York Daily News.
According to The New York Daily News, “Andrade has six arrests on his record, one in the city and five on Long Island, but most did not allow police to obtain a DNA sample from him.”
5. The Stungun Rapist Terrified Residents at the Time
The string of attacks in Forest Park had greatly unnerved residents at the time they occurred.
“I do remember being very, very scared,” one woman told CBS New York. “I’m relieved. I wish they would have caught him a little bit earlier, but I mean hey better late than never.”
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