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Woman (73) raped in busy Central Park

A HOMELESS man with a history of violence has been arrested on charges that he retaliated against a 73-year-old birdwatcher who took a compromising photo of him by brutally raping her in broad daylight in Central Park.

Three police officers took David Albert Mitchell into custody on Wednesday night after spotting him walking on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, not far from where the woman said the attack occurred.

The woman picked the 42-year-old Mitchell out of a lineup, New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said.

Investigators believe Mitchell was the man shown in footage from police security cameras leaving the park with the woman's backpack.


Browne said Mitchell had some of the woman's belongings, including photo memory cards, on him when he was picked up.

Mitchell, who has tattoos of the grim reaper, castles, Nordic warriors and dragons all over his body, was arrested on rape, predatory sex act and other charges.

He said nothing as he was led from the special victims unit to face charges in court, but he spat at reporters gathered there.

He is also facing charges he threatened a man last month with a knife in the same area of the park. He told the man, according to investigators: "I have no problem stabbing you as many times as I want and making this circle full of blood."

Mitchell is being held pending an arraignment hearing.