Suspect Who Posed As Livery Cab Driver Before Attacking Family In Queens Arrested

Fake Cab Driver In Queens Attempts To Rape Mother While Attacking Kids - YouTube

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police have arrested a suspect who they said tried to sexually assault a woman and then attacked her three children after posing as a livery cab driver.

Police said 48-year-old Pedro Vargas of Yonkers has been charged with two counts of felony assault and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. He is due in court later Friday.

Police said the attack, which happened over the weekend in Queens, was caught on surveillance video.

Around 2:45 a.m. Sunday, the woman told police she got into a man’s dark-colored sedan after he said he was a livery cab driver.

He took her and her kids, ages 5, 3, and 1, on an 11-mile ride from 207th Street in Manhattan to Queens to a homeless shelter at the former Pan American Hotel on Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst, police said.

When they arrived, police said he tried to sexually assault the woman.

In the surveillance video, he can then be seen lifting a child out of the back seat, leaving her on the sidewalk, police said.

The mother gets out of the car with a second child but then gets in a struggle with the suspect. That’s when police said he elbowed one of the children in the head.

Moments later, the suspect lunges into the car and grabs the third child, police said. In the video, he then throws that child from the car onto the sidewalk, police said.

VIDEO Fake Cab Driver attempted Rape of Queens NY mom and Attacking Children - YouTube

He then jumps into the driver’s seat and takes off, police said.

“She was panicking,” neighbor Aaron Ling said. “She kept screaming, ‘police, police!’ I ran over here because I thought someone was dying or something.”

The woman’s loud cries for help woke up several people in the neighborhood, including James Yang who lives in the house where the surveillance camera is mounted.

“I saw the lady with the kids, but I don’t know what really happened,” Yang said.

The woman was able to provide a detailed description of the suspect and the car to police.

Detectives were then able to track the car by reviewing security cameras along the route it took from Manhattan to Queens, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported.

The car was a rental and through records, police were able to locate Vargas, who was arrested Thursday at his Yonkers home, Papa reported.

Police said there was no indication Vargas was a licensed livery cab driver.

Vargas has a rap sheet of more than a dozen arrests dating back to 1984, CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported. He was sentenced in 1994 to 15 years to life on kidnapping and robbery charges. He was denied parole twice, but was released in 2012 after serving 18 years.

Two of the three children were treated for minor injuries. In a statement, representatives from the homeless shelter said they were offering support to the victim and her family.

source: Police: Suspect Who Posed As Livery Cab Driver Before Attacking Family In Queens Arrested « CBS New York (external - login to view)