Dec. 27, 2021 By Christian Murray
The 62-year-old man who was busted last week for sexually assaulting a woman in a Forest Hills elevator on Dec. 17 had attacked a different woman in an elevator at a nearby building just an hour before, according to authorities.
Ralph Toro, who was living in a shelter in Corona at the time, was charged by the Queens District Attorney Thursday for two elevator attacks with one taking place in a building on 75th Street at around 11 a.m. while the other taking place at around noon on 108th Street.
The 108th Street incident was caught on video and was widely distributed. In this incident, Toro sexually assaulted the victim, police said.
“The defendant is accused of committing two separate, terrifying elevator attacks inside two different Forest Hills apartment buildings on the same day,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz in a statement.
Katz said she had charged Toro with attempted robbery and sexual abuse, stating: “Victims need to know that we will hold defendants accountable for these types of crimes.”
Toro faces up to 16 years-to-life in prison if convicted.
The first incident took place inside an elevator in an apartment building on 75th Street, according to the charges. Toro was riding an elevator with a 28-year-old woman and when the doors opened, as he went to get out—he turned around and displayed a knife.
He then extended his hand back and forth in a threatening manner as if he were going to punch or hit her—before reaching into her jacket pockets. The victim pushed him away and he fled.
Toro then went to a different apartment building and targeted a 51-year-old woman in an elevator, according to the charges. He allegedly followed the victim into the elevator, displayed a knife and demanded she give him money and hand over her belongings. He also grabbed the woman and put his hands down her pants and sexually abused her, according to the charges. The victim shoved him out of the elevator car.
Police were able to track Toro down through surveillance video.
The NYPD was able to get footage from various sources that tracked him to a shelter at 113-10 Horace Harding Expressway, which is about half a mile away from the 108th Street attack. Employees at the shelter were able to identify him from the surveillance videos, according to police.