Julio Ayala of El Salvador committed the crime on Wednesday, Aug. 29, according to the New York City Police Department (NYPD). The victim lives in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens neighborhood in Brooklyn.
Police sources told the New York Post that Ayala lives near the victim’s home and that he climbed onto the roof of the girl’s apartment building before shoving aside her window air conditioner and crawling inside through the opening.
After raping the girl, he rushed back through the window as the victim screamed for her mother. The mother called 911.
Surveillance images were captured of Ayala as he walked on the street shortly after and officers captured him on Saturday, Sept. 1, in a building under construction on Flatbush Avenue.
18-year-old Julio Ayala charged with Rape, Burglary 1, Criminal Sex Act 1, Sexual Abuse, Act in a Manner Injurious to a Child. Cops say he climbed thru 2nd floor window of home Wednesday night by Flatbush and Winthrop Ave then raped 11-year-old girl. pic.twitter.com/wOMLGcTGFO
— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) September 2, 2018
Suspected MS-13 Member
A police source told the Post that Ayala, who carried a permanent resident card, known as a green card, is likely a member of the violent MS-13 gang.
Officers told Fox News that Ayala was born in El Salvador and is suspected of being a member of the gang.
MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, is a transnational gang that spans across North America and Central America. The gang has become notorious for carrying out violent crimes, including beheadings.
“MS-13 commits shocking acts of violence to instill fear, including machete attacks, executions, gang rape, human trafficking, and more. In their motto, the animals of MS-13 make clear their goal is to ‘kill, rape, control,'” according to the White House.
“The gang has more than 10,000 members in the United States spreading violence and suffering,” the website also stated.
According to the Department of Justice, MS-13 is “one of the world’s largest and arguably most violent street gangs.” The gang is believed to have between 50,000 and 70,000 members, concentrated in urban areas in Central America.
Residents in the neighborhood crowded around the building as police officers brought out Ayala and began cheering, reported NBC.
“They got him!” one man yelled, according to the Post. Some of the people snapped pictures of the suspect.
“Everybody was happy, giving high fives to cops. They were happy that they got him,” one area resident told WABC.
While they were thankful Ayala was caught, some expressed shock that such a brutal crime took place in the neighborhood.
“That makes me feel unsafe in my own home,” Elizabeth Bardourilla, 42, a mental health counselor, told the Post. “That child can’t help herself. For a grown man to do that. Sick. Very sick. This is sad. Just sad.”
“I got a son and nieces. I don’t play with stuff like that. There’s past a point where you tolerate certain behaviors,” added David Cadogan, 40, a paramedic.