Visitors fear for their lives as rampant crime wreaks havoc in this once-peaceful iconic park

Most people visit their local park to get some fresh air and exercise while spending time outdoors.

Some parks in America are so beloved and so widely recognized that almost everyone knows them by name.

But rampant crime in this once-peaceful iconic park is causing visitors to think twice before they go there.

Central Park sees surge in violent crime

Central Park in New York City is one of America’s most famous and popular parks, but it’s seen a dangerous uptick in muggings.

Things have gotten so bad that three violent robberies just took place within a 27-hour span.

Many of the park’s regular visitors are now on edge, wondering if they will be the next target of a dangerous crime.

Meanwhile, the NYPD said it has stepped up patrols in the park, but most visitors still seem leery about going there.

Upper West Side resident Deborah Moralez, 69, told New York Daily News, “It’s a little unnerving” as she walked to the park on a sunny weekend afternoon.

“I’m a little blown away by it actually,” said Moralez, who enjoys walking through the park on weekends.

The New York resident said she normally feels “fairly safe” in Central Park but the recent spate of robberies has made her think twice.

According to local authorities, there has been a fivefold increase in robberies in Central Park this year, going from three last year to 15 as of just last week.

That number does not include the most recent three that occurred within 27 hours, including an incident when a criminal punched and sexually threatened a 28-year-old woman inside the park.

The woman was walking through the park around 7:15 p.m. when an attacker grabbed her from behind and demanded her phone and wallet.

He then said he wanted to have sex with her before he punched her, according to police.

The victim fell to the ground and curled up, tucking her bag against her body to keep the thief from taking it, but he did run off with her phone.

Fortunately, the woman was not seriously harmed.

In another incident, three young men robbed a 42-year-old man with a handgun while he was taking photos of the pond inside the park.

One of the criminals put a gun to the victim’s head while the other two punched him in the face and knocked him to the ground before running off with his wallet and phone.

More mayhem in Central Park

A crew of teenagers tried to take a phone from a 25-year-old kindergarten teacher in the third of the most recent string of robberies.

The victim told the New York Daily News that one of the teens put a gun to his face and pulled the trigger, but fortunately, it didn’t go off.

“At that point, I should have been scared but was not. I was like… Well, if you’re gonna pull the gun, you better pull the trigger,” he said, and the two muggers took off.

No arrests have been made in any of the three cases, and now, park-goers say they remain on high alert.

Sonya Kim, 34, told the Daily News, “I don’t listen to music. I do try to be aware of my surroundings. I avoid areas where it looks like there’s not a lot of people around. I avoid nighttime, but otherwise, I don’t have any other rules.”

Blue State Blues will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.

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