A Yonkers, NY man has been arrested in connection with last weekend's attack on a mother and her three children outside the Boulevard Family Residence, formerly the Pan American Hotel, in Elmhurst.
Pedro Vargas, 48, has been charged with two counts of felony assault, one count of misdemeanor assault and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child after he allegedly attempted to sexually assault the 26-year-old woman in front of her three children, ranging from 1 to 5 years old, two of whom he allegedly assaulted, inside his car as the family attempted to escape.
Police said Vargas posed as a taxi driver and picked the family up from 207th Street in Manhattan and drove them to the rear of the homeless shelter at 79-00 Queens Blvd., where he attempted to attack the mother.
Surveillance camera footage released by police shows Vargas allegedly struggling with the woman as she attempted to free her children from the vehicle.
Moments later, Vargas allegedly viciously elbowed the 5-year-old in the head as he stood on the sidewalk next to the car, knocking him down. He then allegedly pulled the 3-year-old from the vehicle and slammed the youngster to the ground. Both children were hospitalized with minor injuries.
Surveillance footage captured the mother repeatedly throwing punches at the Yonkers man as he attempted to drive away.