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Investigators Link Two Riverside Park Attacks

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TWC News: Investigators Link Two Riverside Park Attacks
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The New York City Police Department is now linking two attacks that took place in Riverside Park earlier this week.

The first incident occurred around 6 a.m. Monday.

Police say Marissa Cortright, a 19-year-old Barnard College student, was out jogging when she was attacked and robbed of her iPod by the tennis courts at 120th Street and Riverside.

According to police, Cortright was thrown against a wall and knocked unconscious.

She suffered bleeding on the brain and a broken cheekbone, but is described as in good spirits.

About 20 minutes after Cortright's attack, police say a 48-year-old woman walking her dog by 98th Street and Riverside Drive was also assaulted.

The suspect repeatedly hit the woman in the head, threw her to the ground and kicked her in the chest and stomach.

She was hospitalized for her injuries.

Police say the suspect is in his 20s, 5 feet 8 inches tall, and was wearing blue shorts at the time of the attacks. At this time, police don't believe the suspect is wanted for any other assaults in the city.

While these two attacks have put park-goers on edge, they say they will not stop coming.

"It doesn't discourage me because it's why we chose to live here, but you just have to be extra careful," said one park-goer.

"I do keep an eye to see if there are people around," said another. "And, I come a little later. So I know it's not too early in the morning, when it's deserted, to try to make those adjustments in my routine."

Crime statistics are mixed for the park. Where the jogger was attacked, felony assaults are up 34 percent. Where the other attack happened, felony assaults are down 37 percent.

"You have to be on the lookout," said a third park-goer. "You have to be careful. It's New York City; anything can happen at anytime."

The NYPD says it has stepped up patrols in the area.

Anyone with information about these cases is being asked to contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-577-TIPS, by texting TIP577 to CRIMES, or by going to NYPDCrimeStoppers.com.

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