Central Park Rape Suspect Busted

Drifter has history of sex attacks on elderly women
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2012 2:19 AM CDT
The NYPD released this surveillance video image of the suspect.   (AP Photo/New York Police Department)
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(Newser) – A homeless man with an extensive criminal record has been arrested on suspicion of raping and robbing a 73-year-woman in New York City's Central Park earlier this week. Police patrols around the park were beefed up after the elderly bird watcher was attacked in broad daylight. David Albert Mitchell, a 42-year-old drifter from West Virginia, was arrested after he was spotted by three rookie cops, the AP reports. The victim picked him out of a lineup and some of her possessions were found on him. The suspect, who spat at reporters as he was led to court, has been arraigned on charges of first-degree rape, robbery, assault, and other charges and ordered held without bail.

Mitchell, whose body is covered in tattoos of warriors, dragons, and the Grim Reaper, has a disturbing criminal record and has spent most of his adult life in prison, the New York Daily News reports. When he was 18, he was charged with molesting and beating to death an 87-year-old woman in his hometown. He was acquitted, but was arrested for raping a woman in her 70s during a break-in months later and was sentenced to 10 years. In 2003, he was sentenced to eight years in prison for attacking and trying to kidnap his sister-in-law, a former girlfriend. His trouble "was always sexually driven," she says. "He was a sick individual as far as sex goes. I was just a dumb, naive person to get involved with him."

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