New York City police arrested a Crips gang member and parolee for raping and assaulting a 70-year-old woman in the stairwell of her Bronx apartment earlier this summer.
Reginald Bellot, 28, allegedly cornered the victim, forcing her into the stairwell, and raped her at gunpoint.
Police used surveillance camera footage to track and identify the suspect.
Bellot, a known Crips gang member, was on parole for a robbery charge at the time of the attack.
It was not immediately known why Bellot was granted parole, but he had been released on February 25 this year after becoming eligible earlier that month.
He had been serving time for a 2018 conviction on attempted robbery and prison contraband charges, and was initially due for release in February, 2023, according to Department of Corrections and Community Supervision records.
He was also sentenced to two years in prison for attempted burglary in 2015.
Bellot was arrested Tuesday and charged with rape, strangulation, predatory sexual assault, criminal sex act, menacing and unlawful imprisonment, the Daily News reported. He remains held without bail in Westchester County Jail.
Reginald Bellot, 28, (pictured) was arrested and charged Tuesday after he allegedly raped and assaulted a 70-year-old woman in the stairwell of her Bronx apartment earlier this summer
Bellot was charged with rape, strangulation, predatory sexual assault, criminal sex act, menacing and unlawful imprisonment. He was reportedly on parole at the time of the attack
According to the NYPD, the sexual assault took place at around 2am on July 27 in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx.
The elderly victim was entering her apartment building when she was approached from behind by Bellot, who was wearing two plastic masks – a red one and a black one – on his face.
Bellot then pulled out a silver handgun, forced the woman into a stairwell and raped her. The 70-year-old victim suffered injuries throughout her body but did not immediately report the attack to the police.
The rape came to light six days later when the woman went to an area hospital for a check-up.
Police used surveillance camera footage released publicly on August 3 to track and identify the suspect as Bellot
NYPD released surveillance footage of the attack on Aug. 3, which was the same day that Bellot was jailed on burglary and weapon possession charges, according to the Daily News.
Detectives used the footage to track his movements and identify him as the rape suspect.
The attack comes as New York City continues to see a crime surge.
Rapes are up 4.5 percent as of September 5 over the same period last year, and other sex crimes are up 26.2 percent
Murders and robberies are down 2.2 and 1.9 percent respectively since last year. Shootings are up 3.8 percent and felony assault is up 5.5 per cent.
Bellot remains in jail while he awaits arraignment in Bronx criminal court
He was reportedly released on parole in February after a 2018 sentencing of one-and-a-half to six years for attempted robbery and a prison contraband charge. He was also sentenced to two years in prison for attempted burglary in 2015
Overall crime in the city is down nearly one percent since 2020.
Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has lashed out at the state’s criminal justice system, blaming the crime rates in the Big Apple on a dramatically reduced number of trial verdicts, which he slammed as ‘unacceptable.’
A spokesperson for the court system responded by accusing the mayor of ‘gaslighting’ the public in an attempt to shift the blame for the crime epidemic.
Speaking during his daily remote press conference on Monday, de Blasio revealed that in the first half of 2021, there were only 18 trial verdicts across the five boroughs, compared to 405 during the same time in 2019.
Meanwhile New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio has blasted the courts for crime in the city, revealing Monday that there were only 18 trial verdicts during the first half of 2021, compared to 405 in 2019
‘That isn’t good enough,’ the mayor said, after heaping praise on the New York City Police Department for making a record number of gun-related arrests, and highlighting the work of community activists.
Lucian Chaifen, Director of Communications with the Office of Court Administration, responded to de Blasio’s harsh criticism by accusing the mayor of engaging in finger-pointing.
‘Yet again, the mayor demonstrates his glaring lack of understanding of the criminal justice process in this state,’ Chaifen said in a statement. ‘His gaslighting rhetoric regarding court operations is an attempt to shift the public safety discussion continues.’
Chaifen, nevertheless, acknowledged that because of social distancing requirements, only three trials can now be held simultaneously in each county, compared to up to a dozen before the pandemic, as New York Post reported.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea says recent criminal reforms have been ‘a disaster’
Meanwhile NYC Police Commissioner Dermot Shea has called on officials to make major criminal justice reforms, saying the city’s ‘soft-on-crime experiment’ has failed
Two weeks ago, Shea called on new Governor Kathy Hochul to make necessary changes to increase safety across the city.
‘Common sense is what we need. Reforms are good, but let’s do reforms that are calibrated in such a way with the input of law enforcement,’ he argued during an interview with Spectrum News.
‘It’s time to fix these laws and get back to where we all need to be,’ he said.
‘This city is built on public safety. We’re probably about two years into this soft-on-criminals “experiment” if you will, let’s empty out the jails, and show me a New Yorker that at this point and time thinks this experiment has worked. It’s been a disaster.’
Crime is on the rise in New York City and many are calling on new Governor Kathy Hochul to crack down on crime