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Sketch Prompts Arrest In Palisades Park Street Sex Attacks

Manual J. Tamay
Manual J. Tamay Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: BCPO / COMPOSITE: NJSP

PALISADES PARK, N.J. -- Palisades Park police last night arrested the man who authorities said committed a pair of recent sexual assaults of women near local bus stops.

Manual J. Tamay, a 33-year-old Ecuadoran national who lives on West Ruby Avenue, was being held on $300,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail, charged with sexual assault and attempted sexual assault.

Manay, who is single and unemployed, was the subject of a massive manhunt that included the release of a sketch two weeks ago.

Police Chief Benjamin Ramos had intensified patrols in the area when Officer Rory Tenant spotted a woman walking near the intersection of East Homestead Avenue and 3rd Street, a block from where one of the attacks occurred, with Tamay nearby., Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said this afternoon."Who knows what he was going to try?" a law enforcement official told Daily Voice.

After a getting a good look, Tenant took Tamay into custody, then called up the sketch to compare.

"He was unable to provide identification and he accompanied the officers to the Palisades Park Police Department for further investigation," the prosecutor said.

Authorities said Manay molested one woman on a local street and threw another down, reaching under her skirt and grabbing her private area.

In both cases, the victims had gotten off a No. 166 NJ Transit bus that runs north on Broad Avenue.

The first incident occurred around 9 p.m. Sept. 8 near the intersection of Broad and W. Edsall Avenue.

The assailant walked up, "made contact with the victim’s breast with his left hand and her vaginal area with the right hand," then ran east on W. Edsall before turning north on Broad, an alert issued by the prosecutor said at the time.

Just before 10:30 p.m. the following night, he approached a woman from behind at the intersection of E. Homestead Avenue and 2nd Street (just east of Broad Avenue), he said.

He "threw her to the ground, reached under her skirt and made contact with the victim’s vaginal area," then fled north on 2nd Street, the prosecutor said.

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