Man Indicted for Violent Rego Park Attacks

Man Indicted for Violent Rego Park Attacks

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The second attack occurred inside an apartment building on 64th Avenue and 98th Street in Rego Park.

By Forum Staff

A Queens grand jury has indicted a Brooklyn man for two alleged surprise attacks this summer on women in Rego Park, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz recently announced.

Richard Smalls, 58, has been arraigned on an eight-count indictment charging him with burglary in the first and second degrees, robbery in the second and third degrees, strangulation in the second degree and assault in the second degree. Smalls was remanded and ordered to return to court on Oct. 21.

According to the charges, around 4 p.m. on July 3, a 50-year-old woman stepped into the elevator inside her apartment building on Wetherole Street followed by Smalls. Seconds later, he allegedly shoved her into a corner, wrapped his arm around her neck and squeezed. During the attack, Smalls allegedly said, “Give me your stuff.” After taking a ring off the woman’s finger, Smalls allegedly bolted from the building.

According to Katz, at approximately 4:15 pm on July 28, a 72-year-old woman was checking her mailbox inside the lobby of her 64th Avenue apartment building when, without warning, Smalls allegedly grabbed her from behind, placed his arm around her neck and choked her. Smalls allegedly told the victim to shut up and then ordered her to give up the bag she was carrying. The elderly victim gave Smalls $60 in cash. Smalls allegedly grabbed her watch and removed three rings from her fingers. The assailant then fled the building.

Smalls was apprehended days after the July 28 attack. If convicted, he faces up to 50 years to life in prison.

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