A 24-year-old New York man accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl at a Queens playground was tracked down by police because he dropped his wallet.
Soloman Hudgins allegedly attacked the girl at around 3:30 a.m. July 20 after asking her for a cigarette, according to New York Daily News.
The suspect grabbed the girl and pulled her to the ground, trying to take her shorts off. But she resisted and sought to use her phone to call for help.
The man then grabbed the phone and ran off, reportedly dropping his wallet in the process. He also took some cigarettes from the girl.
The police went to question Hudgins at his address, but he was not at home.
Hudgins later went to a local police station and alleged the wallet had been stolen in a robbery. He admitted kissing the girl, but said it was consensual.
Under local law, the girl was too young to give consent. Her age was reported as 12 and 14, by different sources. Either way, the girl isn't even 16 years old.
Hudgins was arrested and charged with sexual abuse, endangering the welfare of a child, and robbery.
“No person, young or old, male or female, should have to worry about fending off a sexual attack on the streets of our city at any time of the day or night,” District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement, according to WPIX.
If convicted, Hudgins faces the prospect of up to seven years in jail.
“The offenses of which the defendant has been charged are crimes of violence that pose a serious threat to public safety and which warrant vigorous prosecution,” added Brown.
Hudgins was due to appear in court July 21.
An unrelated attack occurred in the same playground July 14, when a man approached an 8-year-old boy who was at the playground with his mother. The man allegedly picked the boy up and began squeezing his chest, according to the Times Ledger.
Police are searching for the suspect, who faces a charge of endangering the welfare of a child.