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Police arrest rapist who choked, dragged Bronx woman with belt in caught-on-video attack

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Emma Seiwell, Rebecca White, Rocco Parascandola, Thomas Tracy
New York Daily News

Police have arrested the man caught on a horrific video throwing a belt over a woman’s neck and dragging her down a Bronx street, then sexually assaulting her between two parked cars, officials said Saturday.

Kashaan Parks, 39, was nabbed at a relative’s house in the Bronx Saturday morning, a police source with knowledge of the case said. He was charged with rape, assault, strangulation, sex abuse, public lewdness and harassment for the attack.

Parks’ victim told the Daily News she was “happy” to hear police had nabbed him.

“Yeah, he actually raped me,” the woman said plainly. “I don’t know him. He’s not from around here. I’m surprised.”

Rape suspect Kashaan Parks is taken from an NYPD Precinct in Queens on Saturday May 11, 2024. (Theodore Parisienne for New York Daily News)

Parks was held without bail at his arraignment in Bronx criminal court Saturday evening.

Parks was caught on video following his 45-year-old victim on E. 152nd St. near Courtlandt Ave. in Melrose at about 3 a.m. on May 1, then throwing a looped belt around the woman’s throat and pulling her to the ground before hauling her between two parked cars, police said.

The woman grabs her neck, trying to free herself from the belt as she’s dragged along the pavement, the video shows.

When questioned, the woman helped police identify Parks as her attacker, NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said at a Friday briefing. Despite the victim telling The News he was a stranger, the two knew each other from the area, according to Kenny.

Parks was identified, in part, through a distinct gap in his teeth, he said.

“Our victim indicated she had seen him before,” Kenny said. “She actually described his teeth to us. He has unusual teeth. He has a space between his [front] teeth.”

Parks, ironically, was wearing a GAP sweatshirt during the attack. He covered the distinctive shirt, as well as his easily identifiable grill with a large white cloth before he attacked his victim.

“He didn’t say anything. I didn’t see him coming up behind me. I didn’t notice him,” the distraught victim told the Daily News Friday when found near the scene of the crime, a cap partly hiding a nasty purple bruise on her left eye. “I couldn’t hear, I couldn’t talk or say nothing. The shock.”

The victim was on her way to a friend’s home when she was attacked. She took herself to Lincoln Hospital for treatment the next day.

“She’s strong and I want to tell her that she’s strong. She didn’t even want to go,” said the victim’s friend, who didn’t want to give her name. “She didn’t want to do nothing. She just wanted to lay there [after the assault.]”

The victim never reported the rape to police until someone in a nearby apartment building released the video online more than a week later, Kenny said.

“She never reports the incident,” Kenny said. “[Then] she gets arrested for petit larceny and this whole thing comes to life.”

By the time the woman was arrested, cops already had seen the video and were trying to figure out what happened, Kenny said. No one from the building alerted police to the attack before the video was put out, a police source with knowledge of the case said.

“[The video] goes viral. We become aware of it and start to try to track down where this video comes from, and lo and behold somebody from the 40th Precinct squad said, ‘Wait a minute … She’s arrested for petit larceny and she’s downstairs right now.’

“She then fills us in on what happened,” Kenny said.

Parks has been arrested five times, all for theft of service and turnstile jumping, police said.

The victim’s 36-year-old friend, who works as an escort, said the area near the crime scene is a known hangout spot for sex workers and becomes “really dangerous” during early morning hours.

“There’s a lot of perverts. These guys be taking advantage. It’s not only her,” the friend said of the victim getting raped. “There’s a lot of us.”

“It’s been happening for years. It’s f–ked up,” she continued. “I got raped a month ago. I ran to the cops and they were like, I’m lying. They don’t want to listen to us. This always happens.”

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