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Police release video of suspect in Riverside Park attacks

Still frame from a New York City police

Still frame from a New York City police released video of a man suspected of brutally attacking two women earlier this week in Riverside Park on Manhattan's West Side. Photo Credit: NYPD

New York City police released a video Saturday of a man suspected of brutally attacking two women last week in Riverside Park on Manhattan's West Side.

The video shows a man walking near West 97th Street and Riverside Drive at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, the day of the attacks, holding an iPod in his right hand.

Police said Friday that they believed the attacks were carried out by the same man. The assaults occurred 22 blocks apart and within about 20 minutes of each other.

Police said witnesses have described the suspect as a thin man in his 20s and about 5 feet, 8 inches tall.

The victims described their attacker as wearing blue shorts, police said. The video, however, shows a man in red shorts.

Police said they did not have an explanation for the discrepancy.

The first attack put a 19-year-old woman in the hospital with serious injuries. The woman was jogging in the park near West 120th Street around 6 a.m. Monday when she was grabbed and shoved into wall, police said. She hit her head so hard that she passed out, suffering from bleeding on the brain, police said.

The assailant stole the woman's iPod and fled, they said.

The woman, whom police found unconscious on a park bench, was treated at the St. Luke's Division of St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center for the brain injury, a fractured cheekbone and cuts to her face, head and neck.

Three days later - and after media reports of the assault - police reported that a second victim, 48, had come forward.

That woman said she was walking her dog in the park about 6:20 a.m. Monday when she was approached from behind and hit in the head, police said. The assailant knocked her to the ground and kicked her in the stomach and chest before fleeing. Nothing was stolen.

Police increased their presence in the park, but no arrests have been made.

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