ASTORIA, QUEENS (WPIX)—Police have arrested a second person involved in the string of sex attacks in Brooklyn. Authorities say they found him masturbating between parked cars to a pornographic video on his cell phone.
Anti-crime unit officers first noticed Joshua Flecha, 32, of Cresent Street in Astoria, at about 2:30 a.m. Monday along Greenwood Avenue, between 4th and 5th Avenues.
About 45 minutes later, other officers from the same unit saw Flecha on 17th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenue. They became suspicious of him when he began walking slowly between a row of parked cars.
Cops arrested him on the spot believing that he was attempting to break into one of the vehicles.
Instead, found him masturbating to a pornographic video on his cell phone. Officers observed Flecha's pants were unzipped.
Officers also discovered marijuana on his person and noticed he had an uncanny resemblance to a sketch of a man who is wanted for a sex attack on May 7th.
Flecha was immediately arrested for criminal possession of marijuana.
He was also picked out of a line up at the Brooklyn Special Victims unit as the man resposible for the Ma7 th attack. On this day, a man stole a 37-year-old woman's MetroCard at the 8th Avenue entrance of the 7th Avenue and 9th Street station on the F line. The man the grabbed the woman's breasts, exposed himself and masturbated.
Flecha will be part of additional lineups in connection to other sex attacks beginning Tuesday, according to NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne.
On October 11, 26-year-old Adolfo Martinez was arrested and charged with forcible touching and third-degree sexual abuse from an incident on October 10th when an 18-year-old was grabbed from behind on her buttocks. The suspect fled the scene of the crime on 39th Street, between 4th and 5th Avenues.
Martinez has since confessed to similar acts of sex abuse but claimed he could not recall where they occurred.
Women in Brooklyn have been living in fear as police have been powerless to stop as many as four suspects behind the string of sex attacks that reached 20 on Friday.
Six past incidents were reviewed and added to the list, along with a new attack that took place Thursday night in Windsor Terrace when a woman was attacked while walking her dog.
According to authorities, the attack happened while the woman, described to be in her 20s, was walking near Sixth Avenue and 17th Street with her German Shepherd mix at about 10 p.m.
Police say the knife-wielding suspect jumped at her and grabbed her from behind. The man fled the scene after the woman let out a loud scream.
Police are still investigating whether the attack is part of the ongoing pattern of attacks happening in the area. If it's determined to be linked to the series of attacks, it would be the 14th incident in recent weeks. Clothes, which apparently belonged to the suspect, were discovered near the scene.
Police also released six other transit attacks that they now believe may be related, and suspect three different men are carrying out the attacks. Included on this list was the May 7 attack Flecha is accused of committing.
Early on March 11 at the 7th Ave. subway station (F train) a Hispanic man 22-25 years-old approached a 30-year-old woman from behind, placed his hand under her T-shirt and touched her breast before running out of the station.
Then, on March 25, also in the 7th Ave. subway station, a Hispanic man 5'9"-6', with a light beard, approached a woman, 21, from behind, placed his hand under her dress and grabbed her buttocks. The victim yelled and scared the perpetrator away.
Then, on June 18, around 11:30 a.m.a Hispanic man in his 20s, 5'3"-5'5", lifted up a 30-year-old woman's skirt as she stood on the mezzanine and squeezed her buttocks. The suspect then fled the station to the street.
On June 23 at approximately 1:29 a.m., a Hispanic man sneaked up behind a 25-year-old woman and grabbed her breasts as she exited the 7th Ave. station.
Then on July 10, a police were called after a Hispanic man followed a 15-year-old girl down the stairs of the 7th Ave. subway station and grabbed her breasts and buttocks.
Anyone with any information on these or other incidents is urged to call CrimeStoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. Tipsters can also submit information at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting CRIMES (274637) then entering TIP577.
All calls are confidential.
CONTRIBUTED BY SARAH M. KAZADI and ERICA PITZI