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Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa on Friday called on the NYPD to take high-tech surveillance cameras “off the shelf” and use them in city parks in the wake of a horrifying streak of attacks on women in an Upper Manhattan green space.
Three women in Inwood Hill Park on Wednesday morning were attacked by a man who knocked one unconscious with a branch and threatened to rape a second victim. The suspect has not yet been apprehended.
“We saw this on Wednesday where a man in one hour tried to molest and rape women, and yet we see no footage and no photographs,” Sliwa said at a press conference.
“There are cameras [that] are on the outside, but if you go into these parks, there are no cameras — very limited use of cameras in any of the parks of the city of New York.”
Sliwa, who founded the Guardian Angels volunteer safety group in the 1980s, has railed against crime on the campaign trail. He is considered a long shot against Democratic candidate Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, in the November general election.
“The police have surveillance boxes at the ready they could easily install in [Inwood Hill Park] and in parks throughout this city where there are numerous problems,” he said.
Sliwa cited other parks where public safety is an issue, including Highbridge Park in Upper Manhattan. He claimed that site is so unsafe, no one will enter it. Sliwa also pointed to Forest Park in Queens as dangerous and having limited cameras.
The candidate decried Wednesday morning’s attacks by a shirtless man who targeted his victims near W. 218th St. and Indian Road, according to police.
“I want to take you into the park and rape you,” the attacker told one woman. “I have a condom.”
When she tried to flee, he punched her in the face and snatched her iPhone, Apple watch and earbuds.
Forty minutes later, he walked up to a second woman and demanded sex, then threatened to kill her dog, police said. A passing jogger scared him off.
He then bashed a third woman in the head with a branch and knocked her unconscious. He stole her purse and phone and tried to yank down her pants.
She was found by a person passing by.
“What do you tell these women who were preyed upon, that there are no cameras? What do they have to be, ‘Rambolina’ with a knife in their hands? I side with the law-abiding people,” Sliwa said, coining a version of action-movie hero Rambo’s name.
The candidate then went on a patrol of the park with five members of the Guardian Angels.
The NYPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.