Smiling Brooklyn teens accused of gang-raping 18-year-old girl in park after chasing off father

Four Brooklyn teenagers were charged as adults this morning in last week’s gang rape of an 18-year-old woman in a playground, and a fifth suspect was being questioned by detectives, authorities said.

The four boys, one as young as 14, were arraigned on a single count each of rape and sex abuse and two counts of participating in a criminal sex act.

The fifth suspect, who was taken into custody at about 11am at Tilden high School, where he is a student, is awaiting charges.

Murray appeared to have a smirk on his face as he was being led in handcuffs into the courthouse    Something's funny? Denzel Murray, 14, appeared to have a smirk on his face as he was being led in handcuffs into the courthouse
One of the accused rapists leaving court    Another accused rapist leaving court

Police initially identified four of the accused rapists as Denzel Murray, 14; Shaquell Cooper and Ethan Phillip, both 15; and 17-year-old Onandi Brown.

The fifth suspect was named Tuesday afternoon as 17-year-old Travis Beckford. Classmates of the boy expressed shock at his arrest with one telling the New York Daily News: ‘Travis wouldn’t – trust me.

‘It was) probably his friends. He was probably there, but he didn’t do it. Travis is mad sweet.’

Authorities were told the attack began at about 9pm Thursday after an 18-year-old woman and her 39-year-old father decided to drink beer together near a handball court at a playground residents say usually is quiet and empty at night.

The woman told investigators that a group of teenagers approached the pair in the park and ordered the father to leave. He returned moments later, hurled a bottle at them and then one pulled out a handgun and chased him away, according to the woman’s account.

The father, who didn’t have a cellphone, said he wandered around for several minutes in a futile attempt to get help.

He said he went into a deli to call for help, but a merchant refused to let him use a telephone. After about 15 minutes, the father flagged down two police officers, who found the woman wandering the playground.

Investigators did an extensive search for witnesses but came up empty, police said. On Saturday, they located a security videotape they said showed the suspects entering a deli and released it that night with a request for the public’s help in locating them. Police said Monday that no gun had been recovered.

US Representative Hakeem Jeffries, whose congressional district includes Brownsville, revealed that the young woman and her father had recently reconnected after a troubled past. He had abandoned her as a young child, sending her into foster care, and she was raised on the West Coast.

On Monday, a worker at Zaida Deli and Grocery said the victim’s father was ‘swaying from side to side’ as he asked to use a phone, according to the New York Post.

The shop worker said they refused because the man did not explain that it was an emergency.

In an earlier interview with Eyewitness News, the dad defended his actions that night, saying he felt that if he stayed behind and tried to defend his daughter, he would have been shot.

‘The one put a gun in my face telling me to run, and all of them had their way with her,’ he said.

The victim also offered her side of the story, saying she was scared when her father took off running, leaving the men to take turns raping her.

After the assault, the victim was taken to Kings County Hospital, where she was treated and released.

Over the weekend, two of the suspects were turned in to police custody by their parents, while the other two were apprehended.

According to police sources, two of the teenagers have made statements to investigators claiming the sexual encounter with the 18-year-old girl was consensual, reported CBS News.

Law enforcement sources also told the New York Post that some of the suspects claimed that when the group came across the drunken dad and his daughter in the park, the two were having sex together.

‘Can we have some of that?’ one of the boys allegedly asked the father, who was said to have staggered away as two of the teens began having sex with the 18-year-old woman.

New York Mayor Bill deBlasio, left, and New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton address a news conference in New York's City Hall on Tuesday. Bratton admitted there was a delay in informing the community of the attack

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton admitted on Tuesday that said cops waited too long to alert the community about the attack after members of the community including Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams, questioned why there was a two-day delay in making the rape public.

The New York Daily News reported that Bratton told a news conference: ‘There’s no denying that the department should have put stuff out on Friday.

‘It would’ve been sufficient to alert the neighborhood, the community.’

Source: The DailyMail

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