Off-duty NYPD officer arrested on rape charge

By COLLEEN LONG | August 19, 2011 | 6:10 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Police Department says an off-duty officer has been arrested on charges he raped a woman in an apartment building backyard after asking her for directions.

Police say Michael Pena (PAYN'-yuh) has been jailed and suspended without pay.

The woman told police she was on her way to work Friday morning when he approached her with a gun. She says he dragged her several blocks to the Manhattan backyard and raped her.

Police say a resident noticed something happening and called 911.

Chief NYPD spokesman Paul Browne says responding officers discovered Pena was a colleague when they handcuffed him and found his police identification.

A call to a phone number believed to be Pena's home rang unanswered Friday.

In May, two NYPD officers were acquitted of charges they raped a drunken woman at her home.