Man accused of choking, punching 11-year-old girl released on $5,000 bail

A 34-year-old man charged with attempted murder after trying to strangle an 11-year-old girl in a park near his apartment has been released on $5,000 bail. Joseph Escobar, of Bronx Park South, was accused…

Man accused of choking, punching 11-year-old girl released on $5,000 bail

A 34-year-old man charged with attempted murder after trying to strangle an 11-year-old girl in a park near his apartment has been released on $5,000 bail. Joseph Escobar, of Bronx Park South, was accused of placing a plastic bag over the girl’s head and choking her until she lost consciousness. She was able to escape and alert her mother, who took her to a hospital. She later returned to the apartment building.

The NY Daily News reported that an assistant district attorney argued that Escobar was a flight risk and asked Judge Robert Turano to keep him in jail until his next court date on August 3. Escobar’s lawyer, Daniel Miller, argued that he wasn’t a flight risk and that he has no prior record.

The girl was released Friday and investigators are looking into the incident to determine the motive. The police apparently aren’t treating the incident as a hate crime because it is not racially or religiously motivated.

Last month, as part of a larger drive to curb violence in the city’s parks, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo established a task force to offer financial rewards for anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest in unsolved cases of assaults in city parks. A Task Force on NYC Parks Assault was also established to create “willing, cooperative partners in City government,” according to Cuomo’s office.

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