Violent bicycle gangs, widespread criminal releases and bodies in the streets: welcome to Mayor de Blasio’s New York City

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NEW YORK CITY, NY- To say that the city of New York is unsafe and completely out of control, would be an understatement.

Just by simply walking down the sidewalk, or sitting in ones home, people run the risk of being shot in a drive-by, randomly stabbed and attacked, or robbed. 

As Law Enforcement Today reported, in just one of the latest out of control incidents, on Tuesday, December 29th, a gang of young punks on bicycles were caught on video trashing a BMW in the middle of Fifth Avenue in broad daylight. 

In a video that has gone viral, the teens appear to target one vehicle in particular, a 2019 BMW SUV, driven by 36-year-old Max Torgovnick, and his mother who is in her 70’s. Torgovnivk told police that he had stopped at an intersection in the area to allow a large group of bicyclists to pass. In one of the clips, multiple people in the group are shown jumping on the hood of the SUV.

The video also shows what appears to be the teenagers taking turns damaging the vehicle. One teen was seen using his bike to smash the hood of the vehicle, while another was seen jumping on the windshield, causing it to partially shatter and cave in.

Another video clip, posted from a different Twitter account, shows a teen repeatedly punching the side of the SUV. By the time the officers arrived on scene, the suspects had fled. 

The worst part about the violence that took place against Torgovnick and his elderly mother? They claim they had just dropped off a donation to Housing Works, a nonprofit fighting homelessness and the AIDS crisis. They were driving to his father’s neurology office when they encountered the large group of teen bikers.

And that attack came shortly after the same set of aggressive teens targeted another a yellow cab. In that incident, the group began swarming it and later injuring the driver by tossing a bike at him, according to the New York Post.

According to law enforcement officers, approximately 25 bikers were involved, six of whom damaged Torgovnick’s car. A 15-year-old was arrested in connection with the attack on the BMW, and police are searching for another teen they believe to be involved.

Clearly angry about the violence raging in New York City, one Manhattan Police officer said:

“This was an animalistic attack in broad daylight,” 

The officer continued:

“It shows how far the city has deteriorated, and the politicians better get their heads out of the sand and start to deal with these problems before there is nothing left.”

On December 13th, an armed man opened fire on a crowd of people on the steps of a Bronx cathedral, after a Christmas choir had just concluded its show. Luis Manuel Vasquez-Gomez, a 52-year-old native of the Dominican Republic luckily did not injure any civilians before officers were able to bring him down. 

Again, a senseless act of violence, taking place in broad daylight, while innocent people were just going about their day in the City.

In November, Law Enforcement Today reported on Broadway stage actor, Alex Weisman, who was “sucker punched” on a New York subway

Weisman was attacked by a man who beat him severely and caused two fractures to his right eye socket and a damaged retina.

 

Police say 33-year-old Weisman was attacked inside the 103rd Street Station in Manhattan’s Upper West Side.  He will have to undergo laser eye surgery to correct his detached retina. 

Weisman is a member of the original cast of “Harry Potter and The Cursed Child” and has made television appearances on “Chicago P.D.” and other shows. 

Broadway actor Alex Weisman sucker-punched in the face in subway station in de Blasio's NYC
Screenshot courtesy of Twitter

Weisman explained to the New York Post that he thought the man who was approaching him would demand money, but he was wrong:

“It wasn’t a mugging, it was an attack for attack’s sake.”

Weisman explained that three of his friends were also randomly attacked in Manhattan that week — one in Chelsea and two on the Upper West Side:

“It seems like a systematic problem.”

These are just a few of the reports on random attacks on civilians in the streets of New York over the last several months. 

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It almost comes as no surprise though, considering NYC 2020 crime stats show a 97% increase in shootings, and a 45% increase in murders. Here is more on that. 

The preliminary numbers are in for 2020 when it relates to violent crime statistics in The Big Apple – and the data shows that the city hosted an amount of violence not seen in roughly 14 years

Preliminary data that was released by the NYPD on January 1st shows that there was a 97% increase in shooting incidents in 2020 when compared to 2019.

As for homicides, that jumped up by 45% as well. 

When reviewing the 2020 data, it showed that the city played host to 1,531 shooting incidents – resulting in 1,868 people being shot. For the sake of perspective, there were a total of 777 shooting incidents in NYC in all of 2019, where 2020 saw 754 more on top of those numbers. 

With regard to murder rate within the city, there were a reported 462 killings in 2020 – 143 more than all the murders in 2019 across NYC’s five boroughs. 

According to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, NYC hasn’t seen this level of violence since 2006; which that year played host to 1,565 shooting incidents. 

Increases in crimes such as burglaries and car thefts also transpired in 2020 when compared to last year, but there was a decrease in reported rapes, robberies and assaults. 

There were already concerns as early as December of 2019 that NYC was going to have increases in overall crimes with the then-impending bail reform that was slated to go into effect in January of 2020. 

While the city technically saw less crime overall in 2020 – when taking into account every type of crime that can be committed – obviously, certain offenses of a more egregious natures saw disturbing spikes. 

Eugene O’Donnell, a former police officer and current instructor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, was among those that knew 2020 was going to be a rough year early on: 

“Everybody saw this coming last December.”

O’Donnell, making reference to bail reform, alleged that Mayor Bill de Blasio and those among his inner circle were complicit in downplaying criminal offenses – via bail reform that saw people released from jail for a slew of alleged offenses – to the point “where there are bodies in the street.”

Continuing on those sentiments, O’Donnell also stated:

“They seem to be saying the system is rotten, that they’d rather have a body count.”

“The mayor doesn’t do public safety. He sends Shea out there and Shea has to do his song and dance. He doesn’t endorse arrests. He doesn’t endorse prosecutions. He doesn’t believe it in, really.”

“Where are the people who mandated this? At the very least they dropped the ball. They tragedy is we have more and more dead kids. Their lives do not matter.”

However, there are those who disagree with O’Donnell’s framing of what led to the increase in violent crime in the city – namely, mayoral spokesman Bill Neidhardt:

“Shootings are up nationally, which clearly shows this is driven by the pandemic, not bail reform or any forces that are specific to New York City.”

“Yes, Mayor de Blasio has driven down arrests, that’s because he is opposed to mass incarceration. The mayor regularly calls for people who commit violent crimes to be arrested, so I don’t know what Eugene is going on about here.”

Among the outlooks present, Commissioner She says that he sees “better times ahead,” regarding 2021 and cracking down on crime:

“This year, we will redouble our efforts to improve quality of life, better-engage our young people, and eliminate gang violence.”

When addressing New York’s Finest, Commissioner Shea stated that the road to a better city won’t be easy, but that the city needs the department’s officer “now more than ever”:

“Make no mistake: We have a tough road ahead. The city needs you now more than ever. People are looking to our police department — and to you — for reassurance, guidance, and a sense that our city is under control.”

John Eterno, a retired NYPD captain, doesn’t seem to share the level of optimism that Commissioner Shea has regarding 2021:

“I guess [Commissioner Shea] has to say that. But it’s just the opposite of that.”

The rationale behind Eterno’s skepticism for 2021 being a safer year than 2020 stems from matters like the NYPD having been defunded by $1 billion, absolving the department from School Safety endeavors, and also the social workers handling certain calls. 

Eterno claims that the people trying to reshape policing don’t have any idea of what the profession actually entails:

“Ninety-five percent of police officers don’t fire their gun in the line of duty, but the general public doesn’t know this. They need to understand this far better.”

“Otherwise, you just get these quick fixes. It shouldn’t be because you watch an episode of ‘Law & Order,’ you know policing. You don’t.”

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