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Suspect Set Loose After Assault

Be careful out there, ladies. On Tuesday, May 25, a local six-month pregnant woman was allegedly assaulted in broad daylight on Beach 95th Street. By Wednesday, the suspect was released and back on the street.

In a social media post, the woman who says she was attacked said, “I was assaulted on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. in Rockaway by the Q53 bus stop on Beach 95th/96th Street. This man grabbed me and then backed me into an alley. He shoved me to the ground and pinned me down. I fought him and screamed, and he ran away. I found him in the same alley about 30 mins later. He was arrested by the police. They found a knife in his backpack,” she said. Her post included a photo that was taken of the man shortly after the attack and a mug shot following his arrest, providing a warning to others to be aware of him.  “Fast forward to today and he’s back on the street. His name is Michael Capece.  Please be aware NYC/Broad Channel/Howard Be­ach/­Ro­cka­way of this man. I’ve pre­ssed charges against him, but while we await the court date, he is allowed to roam free,” she said.

The posts were quickly shared near and far as local communities spread the word. The Rockaway Times reached out to the young woman for additional comment but did not receive a response by press time. Out of concern for her safety, we’re withholding her name, but she and her baby are doing okay.

According to New York State Unified Court System records, the suspect, Michael Capece, born in 1992, was arrested on May 25 by the NYPD. Capece was charged with a misdemeanor charge of “criminal possession of a weapon with intent to use,” a violation of harassment in the second degree, and the “top charge,” a misdemeanor charge of “assault with intent to cause physical injury.”

According to the court records, Capece appeared in Queens Criminal Court on Wednesday, May 26. The case was adjourned, a temporary order of protection was issued and Capece was released on his own recognizance. He does not have to appear in court again until August 25.

The following day, the alleged attacker was spotted walking around the boardwalk in the Beach 80s, wearing a shirt with the name of a family business, “Capece Landscaping.” According to other claims, the suspect was allegedly harassing and intimidating other young women and children in the area in the following days. On social media, locals said that prior to the attack, he had been spotted in recent weeks around Rockaway and Howard Beach. Previous arrest records from Horry County, South Carolina show Michael Joseph Capece, from Howard Beach, was arrested on March 24, 2020 for “entry on another’s pasture.”

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