A Level 3 registered sex offender who served 17 years in maximum-security Sing Sing prison for rape and sexual abuse was arrested after he forced his way into a 17-year-old girl's car as she parked at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library, police said Saturday.
The teen managed to escape the car and flee after the 6:30 p.m. Friday incident for which William Tockash, 50, was arrested, Nassau police said.
He was charged with first-degree robbery, criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree unlawful imprisonment, police said. The state sex offender database says Tockash lives in Wheatley Heights.
After an arraignment at First District Court in Hempstead, Tockash was being held last night on $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond bail, which he had not posted, at the Nassau County jail in East Meadow, according to a guard there.
The incident began when Tockash approached the teen in the library's parking lot and asked her the time, police said. Then he reached into the car, opened the door, got in and forced her to drive around the neighborhood, stopping on Joyce Road, according to police.
Tockash put the car in park and put his hands across her face and mouth, police said. She was able to grab her keys and get out of the car, screaming for help, according to police.
Tockash fled, running across the backyards of houses on Joyce Road, police said.
A witness told investigating officers at the library that she recognized Tockash from a poster identifying him as a registered sex offender and that she had seen him park a white van on Rex Place.
Officers in plainclothes found the van and arrested Tockash as he tried to enter it. They said he also had a gravity knife.
In 1999, Tockash was paroled after serving about 17 years at Sing Sing for rape and sexual abuse he committed of a 48-year-old woman, according to the sex offender registry.