Howard Shaw, an ex-con released from a state prison on Tuesday, was arrested in connection with a sexual assault on Manhattan’s 103rd Street, police sources told the New York Post on Thursday. 

It was reported that Shaw, 38, was arrested Thursday and charged with the rape of a 54-year-old jogger on Randall’s Island that morning

Police sources also said that the ex-con is being eyed as a suspect in a Central Park assault believed to have occurred earlier that day, sources told the outlet. 

Authorities would not officially confirm Shaw’s identity, but said that the suspect was in custody and was still being questioned as of Thursday evening.

Howard Shaw Charged for Manhattan Assault

Police said that a 54-year-old woman was jogging near the 103rd Street Footbridge on East River Lane at about 7:45 Thursday morning when a man tackled her and tried to pull her pants down. 

The attacker was thwarted by an eyewitness who called police, according to the Post. 

Shaw was arrested at the scene, though the exact charges filed against him were not made clear as of Thursday evening. 

New York Police Department Inspector Michael King confirmed an arrest in connection with the assault in a briefing on Thursday afternoon, but would not divulge details. 

“He is under arrest but we are still speaking to him, we are still conducting the investigation so we don’t want to jump the gun as yet, but he is in custody,” King said. 

NYPD Crime Stoppers said this man may be connected to a Central Park rape Thursday morning. Police later arrested Howard Shaw at the scene of a separate assault.
NYPD Crime Stoppers said this man may be connected to a Central Park rape Thursday morning. Police later arrested Shaw at the scene of a separate assault. Photo credit: NYPD

Sources: Shaw Suspected in Earlier Rape

According to the Post, authorities are eyeing shaw in connection with another rape that occurred in Central Park, some 25 to 45 minutes before the 103rd Street incident that led to his arrest. 

CBS 2 reported that a 27-year-old woman was knocked to the ground while jogging along Central Drive near Swan Lake in New York’s Central Park. 

The sources said the victim lost consciousness after her assailant placed her in a chokehold. According to Inspector King, the victim in the Central Park assault “reached out” to a passerby “who assisted her.” 

NYPD Crime Stoppers released surveillance camera footage of a man they believe is connected to the Central Park assault, but it’s not clear if the man depicted is ex-con Howard Shaw. 

Police have not officially determined that the two crimes were related. “At this time we’ll just say that we have two separate sexual assaults but we’re not saying that the MOs are similar,” he said at the Thursday briefing.

NYPD said this man may be connected to the Central Park rape on Thursday morning. Police later arrested Howard Shaw in connection with a different sexual assault.
NYPD said this man may be connected to the Central Park rape on Thursday morning. Police later arrested Shaw in connection with a different sexual assault. Photo credit: NYPD

“We’re just saying we have two separate assaults and we’re investigating both. But we are exploring all angles at this time.”

But according to reports law enforcement sources say Shaw is being looked at as a suspect in the Central Park assault, as well. 

King added that the NYPD plans to increase patrols in Central Park following the attack. 

Reports: Shaw Previously Convicted of Rape

It was also reported that 38-year-old Shaw was convicted on a previous rape charge. 

Law enforcement sources told the outlet that, in the assault for which he was convicted, Shaw lured the victim in with small talk. 

“She was throwing out the garbage and he asked if she had time,” a police source reportedly told Post reporters. “He put one hand around her waist and the other over her mouth.”

Police arrested Howard Shaw, 38, for a Manhattan sex assault Thursday morning. NYPD said these photos may show the Central Park rapist from earlier that morning, and the New York Post said police believe the crimes are connected.
Police arrested Howard Shaw, 38, for a Manhattan sex assault Thursday morning. NYPD said these photos may show the Central Park rapist from earlier that morning, and the New York Post said police believe the crimes are connected. Photo credit: NYPD

Then, the source said, Shaw dragged the alleged victim to a stairwell, where he “choked, punched and raped her,” according to the outlet.

It’s not clear how long Shaw was in prison before his Tuesday release.