Today’s news:

Woman raped in Flushing: Cops

A 23-year-old woman was brain dead Tuesday morning after a Corona man suspected of being drunk allegedly beat and raped her Sunday night on the streets of downtown Flushing, police sources said.

Police said Tuesday that they were charging Carlos Cruz, 28, with the rape and attempted murder of the young woman, described as Chinese American, in an alley in a residential neighborhood.

Cruz, who moved to the United States from Mexico two years ago, was arrested Sunday night after allegedly dragging an unidentified 23-year-old woman who was walking near 133-23 41st Road at about 9 p.m. into an alley, beating her with a metal pipe and raping her, according to police.

A passerby saw Cruz beating the woman and promptly called 911, enabling police to arrive at the scene of the crime in time to arrest Cruz, who was intoxicated and bloodied, police said. The woman was rushed to New York Hospital Queens, according to police.

Police charged Cruz with one count each of second-degree attempted murder, aggravated sexual abuse, kidnapping, tampering with physical evidence and criminal possession of a weapon and two counts of first-degree assault, according to the Queens district attorney’s office.

If the woman, who was on life support at 5 p.m. Tuesday, dies, the attempted murder charge will be upgraded to murder at a later date, according to the DA’s office, making the crime the second murder of the year in Flushing.

Flushing leaders were quick to decry the attack Monday.

Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) accompanied the woman’s uncle to visit her in the hospital Tuesday evening and was working with U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) to obtain a visa for her mother in order for her to travel from Beijing to the United States.

She said the woman’s uncle said Tuesday evening that he hoped she will live until her mother arrives at the hospital so that she will see her alive and be able to make any further medical decisions.

“I want to thank the good Samaritan who called 911 right away, which allowed the officers of the 109th Precinct to apprehend the perpetrator at the scene of the crime,” she said Monday. “As the perpetrator is now within police custody, I hope the Queens District Attorney’s office prosecutes him for his heinous crime to the fullest extent of the law.”

Councilman Peter Koo (R-Flushing) seconded Meng’s concerns, and agreed that the suspect should be vigorously prosecuted.

“I am deeply saddened, shocked and outraged by the brutal and heinous crime committed on 41st Road in Flushing last night,” he said. “My thoughts and prayers are with the victim and her family as she fights for her life.

Meng and Koo said the incident underscored the need to increase the number of police on the city’s streets. They said they will work with local police to see what can be done to boost street safety near the scene of Sunday’s crime and across Flushing.

“We’re going to have a meeting tomorrow with the 109th Precinct to see if anything can be done to increase safety and awareness in that area in particular, and in Flushing in general,” Meng said.

Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.

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