Homeless man cuffed in Chinatown in connection with violent Central Park rape case

Detectives arrested the suspect (inset) in a Nov. 11 rape in Central Park, identified as Paulie Velez.
Photo by Dean Moses/Inset courtesy of NYPD

A homeless man was ordered held without bail after being charged Saturday morning for violently raping a jogger in Central Park earlier this week, police announced.

Detectives picked up Paulie Velez, 25, within the confines of the 5th Precinct, based in Chinatown, thanks to the help of an anonymous tip, WABC-TV reported.

Velez is accused of choking out and raping a 27-year-old woman as she ran through Central Park, near Swan Lake and Central Drive, at about 7:20 a.m. on Nov. 11.

The shocking incident spurred a massive NYPD investigation, and in recent days, police released numerous videos of the suspected rapist in the vicinity of Central Park before and after the crime took place.

Law enforcement sources said Velez allegedly ambushed the woman from behind and proceeded to choke her, causing her to briefly lose consciousness. He sexually assaulted the victim, then fled the scene in an unknown direction.

Following the attack, police reported, the victim sought help from a bystander, who called 911. She was brought to a local hospital for treatment of various injuries not considered life-threatening.

Velez faces charges of rape, robbery, strangulation, assault, sex abuse and criminal possession of stolen property.

Court records indicated that Velez was remanded into custody during his Nov. 13 arraignment; he’s due back in court on Nov. 19.

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