Written by Margaret Whitely Friday, 16 October 2009 00:00
Nassau County Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey held a press conference at police headquarters in Mineola on Friday, October 9 to describe a sexual assault that occurred in New Hyde Park at the “Stop and Shop” at 653 Hillside Avenue, on Oct. 8 at 10:50 p.m.
According to police detectives, two witnesses parked in their vehicle outside the shopping center reported seeing a man wearing a ski mask acting suspiciously and they called 911. The subject was observed by the witnesses confronting a woman who exited the store and forced her, apparently at gunpoint, into her vehicle, detectives said. The detectives went on to say that the subject ordered the female victim into the passenger seat as he entered the driver’s seat.
Police said the witnesses then indicated that the Honda drove around to the rear of the shopping center and parked with its lights off. A short time later, the witnesses observed the Honda drive away from the shopping center and stop at the traffic light that leads onto Hillside Avenue.
In the meantime, the police arrived and were told by the witnesses just where the subject was. Two police cars approached the vehicle, one at the back and one at the front, therefore blocking the vehicle from moving.
The police then took the woman out of the car and ordered the subject to put both hands on the dashboard of the car. However, police said, he refused to comply to the officer’s command to exit the car and was struggling with the officer as he went for a handgun that was on the seat of the car.
One of the officers, seeing the handgun, feared an imminent threat of deadly physical force against his partner and fired his service revolver striking the subject, detectives stated.
The officers then removed the subject from the vehicle and requested medical assistance. The subject was subsequently pronounced dead at 11:28 p.m.by hospital staff.
The subject’s gun was discovered to be a BB gun, which simulated a police handgun.
Commissioner Mulvey commended the officers on their quick action in freeing the victim. He also praised the diligent citizens who contacted the police alerting them to the dangerous situation.
He said, “These police officers, in spite of danger they could have been in, acted in just the right way to protect first the victim and their fellow officers.”
The investigation revealed that the subject, identified as Frank Hernandez, 26 years old of New Hyde Park, sexually assaulted the 22-year-old female victim in the Honda Accord in the rear of the shopping center, detectives said.
The victim and both police officers involved were treated and released from an area hospital.
Police said that it was also established that there was no prior relationship with the victim and the subject.
Commissioner Mulvey said they are looking into whether or not there is any connection between this incident and a recent violent attack of a young woman in Great Neck, whether or not the subject had a previous record and whether or not drugs and alcohol were involved.
A father, from Albertson, was arrested at the Herricks Searingtown school for driving under the influence (DUI).
The father was picking his son up from school and it was noted that he was driving on the sidewalk.
Without incident he gave his keys to the assistant principal, the police were called, and he was arrested. His son was subsequently driven home by his mother.
Robbery Squad detectives report the details of a bank robbery that occurred in New Hyde Park at 2:05 p.m. on Oct. 7.
According to detectives, a black male, 50-60 years old, 6-6’2” tall, large build, wearing a blue baseball cap, blue button-down shirt, jeans and sunglasses entered the Roslyn Savings Bank located at 1114 Jericho Turnpike and handed a demand note to the teller. The subject then verbally indicated he was armed with a gun.
After obtaining an undetermined amount of cash, the subject was observed entering a white SUV type vehicle and fled eastbound on Jericho Turnpike.
At the time of the robbery there were five employees present and four customers. There were no injuries and police ask anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.